United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday built on previous claims about Chinese companies providing back-door support to Ukraine and insisted that the Chinese government is considering expanding that support.
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Would China Dare Send Weapons to Russia?
According to Blinken, the Chinese government is considering supplying both ammunition and weapons to Russia to aid in the war in Ukraine, expanding on the existing “non-lethal” support from Chinese companies and providing “lethal support” to the Russian war effort.
During an interview with CBS News following a meeting with Chinese diplomat Wang Yi during the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Blinken said that he expressed his “deep concerns” about the possibility of China aiding Russia.
“To date, we have seen Chinese companies provide non-lethal support to Russia for use in Ukraine. The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they’re considering providing lethal support,” Blinken said.
The U.S. official did not provide details about the kind of weapons China is believed to be considering sending to Ukraine, nor did he reveal where the intelligence came from.
Blinken did state, however, that if China were to go ahead with the plan it would cross a red line and create a “serious problem” for Chinese-American relations.
Soon after Blinken made the comments, the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by telling the United States to stay out of China’s relationship with Russia.
Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said that the United States is “not qualified to give orders to China.”
“We will never accept U.S. criticism, even coercion and pressure on China-Russia relations.”
Wang also appeared to deny claims that China is preparing to help Russia with ammunition and weaponry, insisting that the Chinese position of neutrality remains intact.
Specifically, Wang said that China’s position on the conflict in Ukraine “can be simply put as promoting peace talks,” adding that China remains firmly in support of “dialogue and peace.”
Zelenskyy Warns Of World War
In an interview published by German newspaper Die Welt on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that China’s involvement in the conflict could be enough to trigger a world war.
Zelenskyy also argued that China is likely not in the position to help right now, but didn’t rule out the possibility.
“At the moment, however, I don’t think it’s possible,” Zelenskyy said, adding that if China were to ally with Russia “there will be a world war, and I do think that China is aware of that.”
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.