China knocks US over allegations it is considering sending lethal aid to Russia
China hit back against claims that Beijing is considering sending lethal aid to Russia in its war on Ukraine, chiding the U.S. for sharing the reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had announced over the weekend that his department was concerned China was considering ramping up its support of Russia to possibly include ammunition and weapons.
“It is the U.S., not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield. The U.S. is in no position to tell China what to do. We would never stand for finger-pointing, or even coercion and pressurizing from the U.S. on our relations with Russia,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said at a briefing on Monday.
Wang asserted that China is firmly “on the side of peace and dialogue” and said that the U.S. should “seriously reflect on the role it has played, do something to actually help deescalate the situation and promote peace talks.”
Both Blinken and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield had warned of consequences for Beijing, which hasn’t condemned Russia’s war on Ukraine, if it moved to further equip Moscow. The secretary of State reportedly communicated that to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during a meeting in Munich.
“We’re not going to advance and announce what we’re planning to do but we made clear to the Chinese that there will be consequences should they make that unfortunate decision,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
Retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane on Sunday notably said Blinken bringing the lethal aid claims to the public could actually cause Beijing to cancel those plans.
“I think coming out and exposing — and I would go further and tell them — what we think they are attempting to provide, China will pull back, likely, after that public exposure,” Keane said.
Blinken’s announcement and China’s latest response come amid heightened U.S.-China tensions after the Biden administration shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon over U.S. airspace that Beijing claimed was a civilian weather balloon.
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