WASHINGTON (Agencies): The US government has imposed fresh trade restrictions on 42 Chinese companies, accusing them of providing critical materials, such as integrated circuits used in missile guidance systems, to the Russian defense industry amid the Ukraine crisis.
The US Department of Commerce announced the expansion of its export control list, adding dozens of Chinese entities and one each from Estonia, Finland, Germany, India, Turkey, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates. US exporters will now require special licenses, which are difficult to obtain, to ship goods to customers on the export control list.
According to Alan Estevez, a Commerce Department official, “We will not hesitate to act against parties, wherever located, that facilitate the sale of US-origin items to Russia’s military for its war against Ukraine. No matter how convoluted the trail may be or how many hands items are passing through, if US-origin items are finding their way to Russia’s military, we will work tirelessly to stop it.”
This action is part of Washington’s efforts to prevent US-derived technology from reaching Russia’s military and defense contractors, with a particular focus on microelectronic circuits that play a role in guiding missiles and drones.
The companies added to the export control list are said to account for a “significant portion” of the US-derived integrated circuits that have ended up in Russia this year. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Matthew Axelrod emphasized that supplying the Russian defense sector with US-origin technology would not go unnoticed, and action would be taken.
The Commerce Department also stated that it will continue to collaborate with foreign allies to identify companies involved in re-exporting US goods to the Russian defense industry.
In July, a US intelligence report alleged that China was offering crucial support to Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, including navigation equipment and other technology with both defense and civilian applications. Chinese officials countered these claims by asserting that China does not sell weapons to either Russia or Ukraine and that it prudently handles the export of dual-use items in line with laws and regulations.
The Chinese embassy in Washington further emphasized that China’s trade relations with Russia are “above-board” and “shall be free from disruption or coercion by any third party.”