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U.K. Defense Secretary Shapps Is Certain China Providing ‘Lethal Aid’ to Russia against Ukraine

In his keynote speech yesterday to the London Defense Conference, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps presented, with much fanfare, what he insisted was new intelligence that China is about to provide, or is already providing, lethal aid to Russia to be used in the war against Ukraine. As reported by The Independent, Shapps announced that “U.S. and British defense intelligence can reveal that lethal aid is now flying from China to Russia and into Ukraine.” An axis of authoritarian states led by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea ”have escalated and fuelled conflicts and tensions. They have increasingly been working together.”
Shapps went on to say that “today I can reveal that we have evidence that Russia and China are collaborating on combat equipment for use in Ukraine. As we saw from Putin’s state visit to Beijing and the 64% growth in trade between Russia and China since the full-scale invasion, they’re covering each other’s back.” There is, he said, “actually a much deeper relationship there. And this is new intelligence which leads me to be able to declassify and reveal this fact today. I think it’s quite significant.” He did not, however, go into greater detail on the specifics of what he was purportedly declassifying.
The Chinese embassy in London responded with a sharp statement calling Shapps’s accusation “groundless.”
The U.S. response to Shapps was reportedly muted, The Telegraph reported May 22. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said at a White House briefing yesterday that he hadn’t seen evidence of what Shapps had mentioned, but added, “I look forward to speaking with the U.K. to make sure we have a common operating picture.” He did say that Washington does have a “concern about what China’s doing to fuel Russia’s war machine.”

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