US Warns China Against Providing Lethal Aid to Russia in Ukraine Conflict
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that China is “considering providing lethal support” to Russia for its war in Ukraine. On Saturday, Blinken told CBS News that Beijing is actively considering sending weapons and ammunition to Moscow, a move that could further escalate the tensions between the U.S. and China.
The U.S. has been concerned from the start of the conflict about the possibility of Beijing providing military aid to Russia. It would be a “red line” for the European Union if China sends arms to Russia, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned China against supporting Russia in its war on Ukraine, saying it could lead to a new World War. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield also warned Beijing against such a move, saying it would be “unacceptable” and “a red line.”
The U.S. has not provided specifics about the non-lethal military assistance being considered, but sources familiar with the matter said it could include gear for the spring offensive like uniforms or even body armor.
In a rare private meeting held on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, of “serious consequences” for China should Beijing give in to Russian demands for more overt military aid.
President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Monday to meet with Zelensky. Biden was accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who warned about the danger of “veering into conflict” with “a new Cold War”.
Chinese spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Monday criticized the U.S. for its warnings, saying “we would never stand for finger-pointing, or even coercion and pressurizing from the U.S. on our relations with Russia.”
Both the U.S. and the EU have made it clear that they do not want China to provide any weapons or ammunition to Russia. Zelenskyy said in an interview with Italian media that China allying with Russia would lead to another world war and urged Beijing to take a pragmatic approach.
0. “EU top diplomat says China will cross ‘red line’ if it sends arms to Russia” POLITICO Europe, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-diplomat-josep-borrel-china-russia-ukraine-war
1. “Zelensky: If China allies itself with Russia, there will be world war 3” The Jerusalem Post, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-732145
2. “Blinken claims China ‘strongly considering’ providing Russia with ‘lethal assistance’” The Hill, 18 Feb. 2023, https://thehill.com/policy/international/3864815-blinken-claims-china-strongly-considering-providing-russia-with-lethal-assistance/
3. “U.S. Officials Believe China May Be Providing Russia Non-Lethal Military Assistance in Ukraine War” NBC 10 Philadelphia, 19 Feb. 2023, https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics/u-s-officials-believe-china-may-be-providing-russia-non-lethal-military-assistance-in-ukraine-war/3503843/
4. “China may win Putin's war in Ukraine for him” The Telegraph, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/02/20/china-may-win-putins-war-ukraine/
5. “China furious after US warns against arming Russia: ‘The US is in no position to tell China what to do’” Fox News, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/china-furious-us-warns-against-arming-russia-us-no-position-tell-china
6. “‘Lethal' Chinese Gifts to Putin Could Spark ‘New Cold War' With U.S.” The Daily Beast, 19 Feb. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/chinese-weapons-delivery-to-russia-could-spark-new-cold-war-with-us-blinken-warns