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FT: China trade promotion body eyed drone jammers for Russia

A Chinese government-affiliated trade body sought to purchase drone-jamming equipment for Russian buyers, but dismissed accusations, claiming the Russians tried to buy children’s toys, FT says.
ft china trade promotion body eyed drone jammers russia screenshot from website russia's 3mx company showcasing possibly chinese-made jamming products 3mx-uav-jammers
Screenshot from the website of Russia’s 3mx company showcasing possibly Chinese-made drone jamming products.
FT: China trade promotion body eyed drone jammers for Russia

China’s Guangdong Province Trade Promotion Association for Russia, established under the guidance of the provincial commerce department, posted a “Notice of foreign enterprises purchasing [unmanned aerial vehicle] equipment” on its WeChat social media site, seeking “interference generators, drone detectors (trade names BorisTone, Assel Labs, Bulat) or other similar technological solutions, UAV suppressors, communication frequency band jammers,” according to Financial Times.

China claims neutrality in the Russo-Ukrainian war, positioning itself as an alleged proponent of peace. Despite this, it provides economic support to Russia, including drone technology and gunpowder ingredients, following the announcement of their “no limits” relationship.

FT notes that the agency was set up last year to help Russian customers buy goods ranging from trucks to boats. This time, the buyers specifically wanted a locally produced equivalent to the Bulat drone detectors developed by the St. Petersburg company 3mx, which has said its products have been used “on the front lines” during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The procurement notice was later removed from the association’s WeChat account. When contacted by the Financial Times, a person from the group claimed it was “some sort of mistake” and alleged the Russian buyers were actually looking for “children’s toys,” contradicting the detailed drone countermeasure descriptions in the original post.

The US aims to disrupt supplies to Russia’s defense industry via China, a crucial support route for Putin’s war efforts. US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo emphasized in Berlin on 31 May that Chinese firms must choose between trading with Western economies or supplying Russia with dual-use goods.

The Financial Times report highlights the dominant role China plays in the global drone supply chain through companies like DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone maker.

Earlier, British Defense Minister Grant Schapps stated that forthcoming evidence from American and British intelligence would show China providing lethal combat equipment to Russia for use in Ukraine. However, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan dismissed Shapps’ claims, noting at a White House press briefing that the US has not observed such activities and he anticipates coordinating with the UK for a unified understanding.

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