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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged the Chinese government to crack down on businesses sending military aid to Russia and threatened "significant consequences" for companies that continue to evade sanctions, Reuters reported Nov. 10.
Yellen told reporters that she and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng discussed the U.S. government's concerns about equipment transfers from China to Russia. The two officials met in San Francisco on Nov. 9 ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
"I stressed that companies must not provide material support to Russia's defense-industrial sector and that they will face significant consequences if they do," Yellen said.
While Beijing has officially pledged not to provide weapons to Russia or Ukraine while the war lasts, trade data and intelligence reports indicate that Chinese companies have been able to skirt Western sanctions by exporting "dual-use" technologies, or equipment categorized as having both military and civilian purposes.
Russia relies heavily on Chinese support to finance and arm its war effort in Ukraine. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov admitted in October 2023 that the majority of Russia's drones come from China.
Yellen said that Chinese companies helping to arm the Russian military could face sanctions.
"We are determined to do all that we can to stem this flow of materiel that aids Russia in conducting this brutal and illegal war," she said.
The U.S. government indicted three companies and seven individuals on Nov. 8 for their alleged participation in exporting dual-use equipment to Moscow.
Yellen did not discuss He's response to the conversation or provide the names of specific companies.
"We would like to see China crack down on this, especially when we're able to provide information," she said.
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