Blinken: China might give weapons to Russia - Dispatch Weekly

February 20, 2023 - Reading time: 4 minutes

Although it is strongly denied by the Chinese government, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says China is considering supplying weapons and ammunition to Russia for the Ukraine war.​Chinese companies are already giving Russia “non-lethal support,” according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and new data indicates Beijing might do the same for Moscow.

He cautioned that such an escalation would have “severe ramifications” for China.

Beijing disputed the assertions and accused Washington with circulating misleading information.

When questioned about the accusations during a normal press briefing on Monday, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, said: “We do not tolerate the United States’ finger-pointing on China-Russia ties, let alone coercion and pressure.”

China has also refuted claims that Moscow has asked for military hardware.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has not officially denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but has called for peace and sought to maintain neutrality.

After meeting Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, Mr. Blinken spoke with media organisations..

He said that he was “very worried” about the “possibility that China will send lethal material support to Russia.”

“China have so far helped Russia in Ukraine without using lethal force. Our current worry stems from knowledge that they are considering offering lethal support,” he added.

Mr. Blinken didn’t go into detail regarding the specific intelligence the US had about China’s prospective plans. When questioned about what the US thought China might contribute to Russia, he responded that it would mostly be weapons and ammunition.

The Wagner Group, a mercenary organisation that provides Russia with hundreds of men, is accused of receiving satellite footage of Ukraine from a Chinese corporation, upon which the US has imposed sanctions.

According to Mr. Blinken, there is “clearly no separation between private firms and the state in China.”

He added that it would be a “major difficulty for us and in our relationship” if China gave Russia weapons.

As a result of the US shooting down an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon in early February, relations between Washington and Beijing were already tense. Notwithstanding the heated remarks that were said, both parties appeared ashamed by the situation and eager to move on.

Yet, US-Chinese ties would worsen significantly if China were to send weaponry to support Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

According to prominent Republican senator Lindsay Graham, it would be the most “catastrophic” thing that could happen to the alliance between the two titans.

Mr Graham told ABC News: “It would be like buying a ticket on the Titanic after you saw the movie. Avoid doing this.”

The purpose of Mr. Blinken’s warning appears to be to prevent China from taking that action.

Also, Mr. Blinken stated that the US was concerned about China assisting Russia in evading Western sanctions intended to harm Russia’s economy. Russia’s largest market for its oil, gas, and coal is China, where bilateral commerce has increased.

Tanks are among the weaponry, ammunition, and equipment being sent to Ukraine by NATO members, including the US. They have refrained from deploying fighter jets, and Mr. Blinken declined to comment on whether the US would assist other nations in providing jets.

He declared, “We have been very clear that we should not fixate or focus on any one weapons system.”

Nevertheless, he said that the West needed to make sure Ukraine had the resources it would need “in the months ahead” for a future counteroffensive against Russia. In the eastern parts of Ukraine, where some of the war’s hardest combat has occurred, Russia is currently pushing hard.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.