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US Secretary of State warns China may provide weapons to Russia in Ukraine conflict

US Secretary of State warns China may provide weapons to Russia in Ukraine conflict

China may provide Russia with weapons and ammunition for the Ukraine conflict, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Mr. Blinken told CBS News that Chinese companies were already providing “non-lethal support” to Russia and that new information indicated that Beijing could also provide “lethal support.”

He warned that this escalation would have “serious consequences” for China.

The Chinese government has denied reports that Russia has requested military equipment.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has yet to condemn Russia’s invasion; however, he has attempted to remain neutral and has called for peace.

China’s foreign ministry stated that it would not tolerate “pointing fingers” or “coercion” from the United States regarding its relations with Russia.

Mr. Blinken spoke to CBS after meeting China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

During the meeting, he reportedly expressed “deep concerns” about the possibility that China will provide Russia with lethal material support.

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“To date, Chinese companies have provided Russia with nonlethal support for use in Ukraine. Our current concern is based on information that they are contemplating providing lethal support “he said.

He did not specify what information the United States had received regarding China’s potential plans. When asked what the United States believed China might give to Russia, he stated that it would primarily consist of weapons and ammunition.

The United States has sanctioned a Chinese company for allegedly providing satellite imagery of Ukraine to the mercenary Wagner Group, which provides thousands of fighters to Russia.

Mr. Blinken told CBS, “Of course, there is no real distinction between private companies and the state in China.”

If China supplied Russia with weapons, it would pose a “serious problem for us and our relationship,” he continued.

After the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon in early February, relations between Washington and Beijing were already poor. Both parties exchanged angry words, but both appeared embarrassed by the incident and willing to move on.

However, if China were to provide weapons to Russian forces in Ukraine, US-Chinese relations would deteriorate significantly more.

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According to top Republican senator Lindsay Graham, it would be the most “catastrophic” thing that could happen to the relationship between the two giants.

It would be like purchasing a ticket for the Titanic after watching the film, he told ABC News. Avoid doing this.

Mr. Blinken’s warning is intended to deter China from doing that.

Mr. Blinken also stated that the United States was concerned about China assisting Russia in evading Western sanctions intended to cripple the Russian economy. China has become one of the largest markets for Russian oil, gas, and coal, as its trade with Russia has increased.

Members of NATO, including the United States, are sending Ukraine a variety of weapons, ammunition, and equipment, including tanks. They have refrained from sending fighter jets, and Mr. Blinken would not say whether the United States would assist other nations in supplying jets.

He stated, “We’ve been very clear that we shouldn’t fixate on any particular weapon system.”

However, he stated that the West must ensure Ukraine has the resources necessary for a potential counteroffensive against Russia “in the coming months.” Russia is currently attempting to advance in the eastern regions of Ukraine, where the war’s fiercest fighting has occurred.

The remarks are made in advance of Mr. Wang’s scheduled visit to Moscow, which is part of the Chinese foreign policy chief’s tour of Europe.

Reuters reported that Mr. Wang stated in Munich on Saturday that China had “neither stood by idly nor added fuel to the fire” of the Ukraine conflict.

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Mr. Wang stated that China would publish a document outlining its position on resolving the conflict. According to him, the document would state that the territorial integrity of all nations must be respected.

Mr. Wang stated, “I propose that everyone, especially our European allies, begin to calmly consider what kind of efforts we can make to end this war.”

He added that there are “some forces that do not want negotiations to succeed or the war to end soon,” but did not specify who he was referring to.

According to Italy’s foreign minister Antonio Tajani, Chinese President Xi is scheduled to deliver a “peace speech” on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday, February 24.

Reuters reported that Mr. Tajani told Italian radio that Mr. Xi’s speech would call for peace without condemning Russia.

During their meeting, Mr. Blinken and Mr. Wang exchanged harsh words regarding the escalating dispute over an alleged Chinese spy balloon shot down over the United States.

During the meeting, Mr. Blinken stated that the United States would not “stand for any violation of our sovereignty” and that “this irresponsible act must never occur again.”

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Mr. Blinken told CBS that other countries were concerned about China’s surveillance balloon program spanning five continents.

Chinese foreign affairs Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech in Munich on Saturday

Mr. Wang, on the other hand, described the incident as a “political farce manufactured by the United States” and accused them of “using all means to block and suppress China.” China has denied sending an intelligence balloon.

And on Sunday morning, Beijing warned that the United States would “bear all the consequences” if the balloon dispute escalated. China stated in a Reuters-reported foreign ministry stated that it would “follow through to the end” if the United States persisted in exploiting the situation.