On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed deep concern that China may be planning to send lethal assistance to Russia in its conflict with Ukraine, a move which could potentially spark a new “Cold War” between the two countries. During a visit to Turkey, which was recently struck by two earthquakes, Blinken revealed his suspicions following a meeting with Beijing's top diplomat. This news comes shortly after the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon earlier this month, further escalating tensions between the two countries.
Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, also warned of “real consequences” if China were to provide Russia with weapons in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield went further on CNN, saying Chinese military aid would be a “red line”.
Retired General Jack Keane said that if China were to provide assistance to Russia during its invasion of Ukraine, it would help escalate the conflict to a cold war. However, China has so far refused to condemn the invasion and has only presented itself as a neutral party.
China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Tuesday morning that Beijing is “deeply concerned” about the war in Ukraine escalating and possibly “spiralling out of control”. Beijing signed a “no-limits” partnership with Moscow weeks before the invasion of Ukraine one year ago and has refused to condemn the invasion.
The US has warned of consequences if China provides military support to Russia and is watching closely to ensure Beijing’s diplomatic and economic support to Moscow doesn’t go any further. The Biden administration is reportedly considering releasing intelligence it believes shows that China is weighing whether to supply weapons to support Russia’s war in Ukraine.
China’s top diplomat Wang Yi is expected to arrive in Moscow today after announcing on Saturday that Beijing has a plan to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine. Qin was speaking as Wang Yi 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.
Prior to Russia's incursion into Ukraine in February, Beijing began a “no limits” relationship with Moscow and has not used the term “invasion” nor has it criticized the Russian activities in the Eastern European nation. During his Monday visit to Hungary, Wang urged for a resolution to the dispute through negotiation.
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