China has announced the introduction of export controls on some drones, as well as their equipment. Beijing explains such a decision by protecting “national security and interests,” Reuters reports.
“China’s modest expansion of the scope of its drone control this time is an important measure to demonstrate our stance as a responsible major country, to implement global security initiatives, and maintain world peace,” China’s commerce ministry said.
The restrictions will come into effect on September 1. Export controls will affect UAV engines, lasers, communications equipment and counter-drone systems, and some civilian drones.
“All civilian drones not included in the controls are prohibited from being exported for military purposes,” China’s commerce ministry adds.
China produces a significant number of drones and exports them to several markets, including Russia and Ukraine. The devices are used by both the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the occupying forces.
“We have never designed and manufactured products and equipment for military use, nor have we ever marketed or sold our products for use in military conflicts or wars in any country,” the DJI company, one of the largest manufacturers of drones, said.
Despite China’s statement, the United States of America suspects Beijing of supplying technology to the Russian military. And the publication Politico established that Russia receives equipment from China on a scale sufficient to equip an entire army – body armor, thermal imagers, and commercial drones. Journalists say the deliveries can be used in offensive operations on the front line.