The United States says China is boosting the Russian war machine in Ukraine.

China is backing Russia’s war effort in Ukraine by helping Moscow in its biggest military buildup since the Soviet era, providing drone and missile technology, satellite imagery and machine tools, senior U.S. officials said Friday.

However, the Chinese embassy in the US said it has not provided weapons to any party, adding that it “is not a producer or party involved in the Ukraine crisis.”

The officials, who spoke on anonymity, said U.S. President Joe Biden raised the issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping in their recent phone call and that it is a topic of discussion with U.S. allies in Europe and around the world.

One official said Chinese materials are filling critical gaps in Russia’s defense production cycle and helping Moscow undertake its “most ambitious defense expansion since the Soviet era and on a faster timeline than we initially thought possible.” of this conflict.

“Our view is that one of the most decisive measures we have at this time to support Ukraine is to convince the People’s Republic of China to stop helping Russia rebuild its military industrial base. “Russia would have difficulty maintaining its war effort without the PRC’s input,” the official stated.

A Chinese embassy spokesperson told Reuters that normal trade between China and Russia should not be interfered with or restricted.

“We urge the US side to refrain from disparaging and scapegoating the normal China-Russia relationship,” Liu Pengyu said.

Some of the information provided by US officials in a small briefing with journalists was based on declassified information. They outlined a wide range of ways China is helping Russia in its two-year war against Ukraine without providing lethal aid.

President Joe Biden has been pressuring Republicans who control the US House of Representatives to approve a major injection of funds to supply weapons to Ukraine, which is struggling to defend itself against the Russians.

The United States and its allies have also been more forceful in confronting Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and against Taiwan’s self-government.

China complained about what it saw as anti-China rhetoric emanating from Biden’s talks this week with the leaders of Japan and the Philippines, prompting a White House denial.

The Russians likely used machine tool imports from China to boost their ballistic missile production, officials said. They cited Dalian Machine Tool Group, one of China’s leading machine tool manufacturers, as one of the companies supplying Russia.

In 2023, officials said that 90% of Russian microelectronics imports came from China, which Russia used to produce missiles, tanks, and aircraft.

They said Chinese companies such as Wuhan Global Sensor Technology Co and Wuhan Tongsheng Technology Co Ltd supply Chinese optical components for use in Russian systems, including tanks and armored vehicles.

Additionally, they said Russia has received military optics for tanks and armored vehicles made by Chinese companies iRay Technology and North China Research Institute of Electro-Optics.

The officials also said that China has supplied Russia with engines for unmanned aircraft and turbojet engines for cruise missiles and that Chinese and Russian entities have been working to produce drones within Russia jointly.

They added that Chinese companies are likely supplying Russia with nitrocellulose to make weapons propellants, helping Russia rapidly expand its capacity to make key munitions such as artillery cartridges.

US officials also claimed that China is helping Russia improve its satellite and other space capabilities for use in Ukraine, increasing the Russian threat across Europe. And they said the United States has information that China is providing images to Russia for its war against Ukraine.

Steve Holland