UK defence minister alleges ‘lethal aid’ from China being used by Russia in Ukraine

Grant Shapps. Photo: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street, CC BY 2.0

Grant Shapps. Photo: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street, CC BY 2.0

British Defence Minister Grant Shapps announced in a press conference on Wednesday that US and UK intelligence agencies had evidence that “lethal aid” was now, or would be “flowing from China to Russia”, Reuters reported.

During his speech at the London Defence Conference he warned that Chinese weaponry would soon be being used in Ukraine, though he provided no further details or evidence to support his claim.

Shapps remarked that the evidence contradicted attempts by China to present itself and a “moderating influence” in the war in Ukraine, adding that democratic states needed to renew their alliances and “make a full-throated case” for freedom.

“It’s time for the world to wake up. And that means translating this moment to concrete plans and capabilities. And that starts with laying the foundations for an alliance-wide increase in spending on our collective deterrent,” he said.

Shapps pointed to Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jingping’s display of unity during their meeting in Beijing earlier in the month, alongside the 64% increase in trade between the two countries, as signs of their deepening alliance. Xi has previously stated that there should be a “political solution” to the war in Ukraine, despite international calls for him to condemn Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington has previously stated that China was “not a producer of or party involved in the Ukraine crisis” and had not supplied weapons to Russia. The Chinese Embassy in London did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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