US imposes sanctions on more than a dozen companies in China for support of Russia’s war in Ukraine

By Jennifer Hansler and Samantha Waldenberg, CNN

CNN  — 

The United States imposed sanctions on more than a dozen companies in China and Hong Kong for their support of Russia’s war in Ukraine as part of a tranche of nearly 300 new sanctions unveiled Wednesday.

The move comes after repeated warnings from top US officials, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, to top Chinese officials that they must crack down on China’s provision of dual-use items to Russia that the US says are being used to strengthen its military in the war against Ukraine.

“The almost 300 targets being sanctioned by both Treasury and the Department of State include sanctions on dozens of actors that have enabled Russia to acquire desperately needed technology and equipment from abroad,” the Treasury Department said in a news release.

The sanctions also hit targets within Russia, as well as Azerbaijan, Belgium, Slovakia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

The sanctions are aimed at cracking down on sanctions evasion and support for Russia’s military-industrial base and its biological and chemical weapons programs. The Treasury Department also targeted those involved in providing precursor materials to Russia used in explosives.

According to a State Department fact sheet, its sanctions hit Chinese “entities responsible for developing, and supplying dual-use aerospace, manufacturing, and technology equipment to entities based in Russia.”

“Specifically, these designations target producers and exporters of items critical to Russia’s defense-industrial base, some of whom have shipped goods to U.S.- designated entities in Russia,” the fact sheet said.

The Biden administration has increasingly sounded the alarm about China’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base – support that the US says has allowed Moscow to continue its war against Ukraine.

Moreover, as Russia has begun to build back its defense capabilities, the US has sought to rally allies to pressure Beijing – via diplomatic means or, if that fails, punitive measures – to stop providing the support, and they are looking to see if that pressure has or will have an impact.

“Russia is no longer kind of on its back foot,” a senior State Department official said before Blinken’s trip to China. “They are surging. They have substantial assets, they reconstituted. They that pose a threat not just to Ukraine but to the wider region.”

The top US diplomat said following a day of meetings in Beijing that “when it comes to China’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base, all I can tell you is I was extremely clear about our concerns in some detail, but we’ll have to see what actions follow from that. “

“It is absolutely critical that the support that it’s providing – not in terms of weapons but components for the defense industrial base – again, things like machine tools, microelectronics, where it is overwhelmingly the number-one supplier to Russia. That’s having a material effect in Ukraine and against Ukraine, but it’s also having a material effect in creating a growing that Russia poses to countries in Europe and something that has captured their attention in a very intense way,” he said last week.

Despite those conversations, there is little sign that Beijing intends to heed the US warnings.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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