According to trade and customs data obtained by POLITICO, Chinese firms, including one linked to the Beijing government, have shipped 1,000 assault rifles and various other items with potential military applications, such as drone components and body armor, to Russian entities.
Customs data aggregator ImportGenius has provided data indicating that the shipments occurred between June and December 2022.
China North Industries Group Corporation Limited, which is one of China’s biggest state-owned defense contractors, shipped the rifles to a Russian firm called Tekhkrim in June 2022.
Tekhkrim conducts business with both the Russian government and military. Although the CQ-A rifles are listed as “civilian hunting rifles” in the data, they are modeled after the M16 and are reportedly utilized by paramilitary police in China, as well as armed forces in countries such as South Sudan, the Philippines, and Paraguay.
According to the same data, Russian entities received 12 separate shipments of drone components from Chinese companies in late 2022, as well as over 12 tons of Chinese body armor that was routed through Turkey.
Written by staff