May 23, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

A Chinese company is discussing the sale of drones to Russia, Der Spiegel

A Chinese company is discussing the sale of drones to Russia, Der Spiegel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Russia is in talks with a Chinese manufacturer about buying 100 drones as early as April, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Thursday, without citing specific sources.

In recent days, the United States, Germany and other Western countries have warned China against selling weapons to Russia in its war against Ukraine, saying any such move would have serious consequences.

Besieged by heavy Western sanctions imposed in response to its attack on Ukraine, Russia is believed to have bought weapons from Iran and North Korea, including drones from the former, but China has so far brushed aside.

Chinese drone manufacturer Xi’an Penghu Intelligent Flight Technology said it was ready to make 100 prototypes of its ZT-180 drone, which the magazine said could carry a 35-50kg warhead, Der Spiegel said.

“I told China’s representatives that this cannot be accepted,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told public broadcaster ZDF earlier on Thursday when asked about less specific reports that China might help Russia.

Latest updates

View 2 more stories

Der Spiegel said the drone was similar to the Iranian Shahid-136, with which Russia launched countless attacks on Ukraine, killing hundreds of people and damaging civilian infrastructure.

The magazine also said that Bingo has plans to help set up a drone production site in Russia, where up to 100 drones can be made per month.

It added that there had been previous plans for a company controlled by the Chinese military to send spare parts to Russia for its SU-27 warplane.

Bingo did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

See also  Statement by Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre regarding President Biden's travel to Vietnam

The company was founded in 2017 by Ma Jingdong, a graduate of Northwestern Polytechnical University in China, and its drones have been used by China’s electric grid operator State Grid to carry out environmental monitoring work, according to an official WeChat account.

In November 2018, Bingo said it signed a strategic cooperation agreement with an online platform set up by Poly Technology Defense Investment, a unit of the state-owned China Poly Group that aims to support military trade and research in military equipment.

A procurement document published by the government of China’s far western Xinjiang region in August 2021 said that the drones developed by Penghu had been used in military exercises and described its technical strength as “first-class”.

Additional reporting by Thomas Escritt in Berlin, Brenda Goh in Shanghai and Eduardo Baptista in Beijing Editing by Matthew Lewis and Kim Coghill

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.