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Putin arrives in China's 'Little Moscow' on second day of state visit - BBC News Putin arrives in China's 'Little Moscow' on second day of state visit - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
Fan Wang Trade and economic co-operation is the theme of President Putin's second day of his visit to China.
Live reporter Beijing has become a vital partner for Moscow, as it seeks to soften the impact of sanctions imposed by the US and other countries.
Today Putin is visiting Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), one of China's top science and engineering universities. China has repeatedly denied allegations that it supplies Russia with weapons.
It was first established in 1920 and at that time, all of its courses were taught in Russian and followed the Russian education model. In an interview with BBC News, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said: "What's not happening is the provision of actual arms by China to Russia for use in Ukraine."
These days HIT is known as "China's MIT". It's also known as China's “cradle of engineers” and one of the country's "Seven Sons of National Defence" institutes for students who want to enter the defence industry. However, China has been accused of building up Moscow's war machine by providing critical components.
It was sanctioned by the US government in 2020 and added to Washington's blacklist amid the US-China tech war. Blinken has said: "Those are being used to help Russia on what's an extraordinary crash course effort to make more munitions, tanks, armoured vehicles, missiles."
On social media, many HIT students have expressed excitement about Putin's visit, though some are none too happy about the intensified security measures on campus. About 70% of the machine tools and 90% of the microelectronics Russia imports come from China, he added.
"I want to go and see him but my building was put under lockdown," one student wrote on Xiaohongshu, an Instagram-like platform. "My lunch delivery order has just been rejected," another one said. Beijing exports more than $300m (£237m), external worth of dual-use items - those with both commercial and military applications - to Russia every month, according to an analysis of Chinese customs data by the Carnegie Endowment think tank.
It says the list includes what the US has designated as "high priority" items, which are necessary for making weapons, from drones to tanks.
RUSI, a UK-based think tank has also cautioned about the potential use of Chinese satellite technology, external for intelligence on Ukraine's front line.
Beijing has also become Moscow's key supplier of cars, clothing, raw materials and many other products, after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia.
Trade between China and Russia reached a record $240bn (£191bn) in 2023, up more than 64% since 2021 - before Russia's invasion of Ukraine - according to official figures from China.
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