China Restricts Drone Exports, Citing Concerns Over Military Use From Ukraine

 Long-range civilian drone shipments were restricted by China on Monday due to Russia's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine and worries that drones might be used for military purposes.

The administration of China's president Xi Jinping is friends with Moscow but declares itself impartial in the 18-month conflict. It has been hurt by rumours that both sides may be employing drones built in China for strikes and reconnaissance.

To prevent the use of drones for "non-peaceful purposes," export limitations will go into place on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce. It stated that exports would still be permitted but did not specify what limitations would be in place.

China is a global leader in drone development and export. One of the biggest rivals in the market, DJI Technology Co., declared in April 2022 that it was leaving Russia and Ukraine to stop their drones from being used in hostilities.

According to the ministry, there will be restrictions on drones that can fly over the operators' line of sight, hover for more than 30 minutes, have throwable object attachments, or weigh more than seven kilogrammes (15 1/2 pounds).

After a U.S. intelligence report suggested Beijing may have contributed equipment used in Ukraine that may have military implications, the government on Friday defended its interactions with Russia as "normal economic and trade cooperation."

According to the study, drones, navigational aids, fighter aircraft parts, and other items were delivered by Chinese state-owned military contractors, according to Russian customs data.

Beijing has been cautioned by the Biden administration that failing to heed its warnings could result in unspecified repercussions. The report from last week didn't mention whether any of the trade mentioned may lead to American reprisal.

Prior to the February 2022 invasion, Xi and Vladimir Putin of Russia announced that their countries had a "no-limits" friendship. Beijing has rehashed Russian excuses for the attack while thwarting attempts to get Moscow condemned at the UN.

China has "always opposed the use of civilian drones for military purposes," according to the Ministry of Commerce. "China's this time moderate expansion of drone control is an important step to show the accountability of a responsible major country,"

In March 2022, the Ukrainian government requested DJI to halt selling drones, alleging that the Russian ministry was using them to target missile assaults. Claims that DJI gave information about Ukraine's military positions to Russia were denied.

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