US to Target Chinese Companies in Upcoming Sanctions on Russia: State Department

Liam Cosgrove
By Liam Cosgrove
February 24, 2023News
US to Target Chinese Companies in Upcoming Sanctions on Russia: State Department
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Ukraine in Washington, D.C., on March 8, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs Victoria Nuland revealed that an upcoming sanctions package targeting Russia on the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine will also target China-linked entities that are violating export bans against Moscow.

The Biden administration has identified that China-linked firms—some Europe-based—are evading existing sanctions against Russia intended to weaken Moscow’s ability to finance and supply its military offensive in Ukraine.

“There will be in the sanctions packages that we will be announcing tomorrow on the one-year anniversary of the war,” Nuland told The Washington Post during a live event on Thursday. “We will also be putting other constraints on entities, Chinese-based or Chinese subs of entities in Europe.”

In January, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned the Chinese technology company Spacety for providing geolocating data to a private Russian mercenary group that has fought alongside Moscow forces in the war.

Some of the items being accessed by Russia include laptops, smartphones, dishwashers, washing machines, and cars. Nuland alleged that developing countries are acting as intermediaries to supply the goods to Moscow.

U.S. officials are concerned that advanced semiconductor chips in these products could be used for military purposes.

“They can cannibalize this machinery to get the advanced chips that we have denied them so that they can make more rockets,” Nuland said. “We will clamp down on that evasion starting tomorrow.”

The State Department has taken a firmer stance against countries that would send lethal aid to Russia, which Nuland and other U.S. officials suspect China’s ruling communist party is considering. On Thursday, when asked by NBC whether the Biden administration would share the intelligence behind these suspicions, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that they have no plans to do so but it is not off the table.

NTD Photo
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing on January 17, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden administration officials continued to issue warnings to Beijing this week, hoping to deter any potential arms trafficking to Russia that might occur.

“[Lethal aid] would be a complete step change,” Nuland said. “Not only in how they are viewed globally and their claims of neutrality but also in our relationship with China.”

“This is not something that can be done under the carpet while China professes to be neutral.”

At a Department of Defense press briefing on Wednesday, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh warned of “consequences” for China if they were to provide lethal support. When asked by The Epoch Times what those consequences might look like, she would not specify. 

“I don’t want to get ahead and forecast any of those consequences,” Singh said.

 Friday’s sanctions will also target Russian companies in financial, technology, and military-affiliated industries.

President Joe Biden will meet virtually with other G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Zelensky on Friday to announce the new sanctions. Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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