US Warns China Against Military Support to Russia in Ukraine War
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed deep concern that China may be considering providing military assistance to Russia in its war against Ukraine. In an interview with NBC News on Saturday, Blinken warned China of serious consequences if it crossed the line and provided weapons and ammunition to Moscow.
The warning comes as US President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Monday, promising $500 million in military aid and additional sanctions against Russian elites. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also warned China against supporting Russia, saying that doing so would threaten to bring about a new World War.
China initiated a “no limits” partnership with Moscow shortly before the invasion of Ukraine last February, and has refused to condemn the invasion. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said Tuesday in Beijing that China was “deeply concerned” about the war in Ukraine escalating and possibly “spiralling out of control”.
The European Union's top foreign affairs official Josep Borrell also warned against China sending arms to Russia, saying it would be a “red line”. The Biden administration is concerned that President Xi Jinping of China may soon provide lethal support to President Vladimir Putin of Russia in his war against Ukraine.
Blinken, who met with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the margins of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, said he warned Beijing against providing such support. He also commented on Vice President Kamala Harris's announcement in Munich that the U.S. had formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
China has presented itself as a neutral party in the conflict, accusing the US and Nato of fuelling the fire. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the US was in “no position” to lecture China on the Ukraine conflict. Wang was expected in Moscow for possible talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where state media said the Russia-Ukraine war would be high on the agenda.
The potential for a conflict between Russia and China on one side, and Ukraine and the US-led NATO military alliance on the other, could become a reality if China were to provide arms to Russia, increasing the intensity of the war in Ukraine. Blinken warned that such an action could lead to “a new Cold War”. The United States has warned of consequences if China provides military support to Russia.
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