US officials believe China may provide non lethal military aid to

US officials believe China may provide non-lethal military aid to Russia in war in Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier of an artillery unit throws a empty shell as they fire at Russian positions on the outskirts of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine December 30, 2022.

Sameer Al-doumy | AFP | Getty Images

According to four US officials, the US believes China may be providing non-lethal military assistance to Russia for deployment in Ukraine, and the government is concerned it is considering sending lethal aid.

While China has provided some assistance to Russia, including parroting Russian disinformation campaigns about the war, this is more tangible assistance for use by Russian troops in Ukraine.

Officials declined to give details of the non-lethal military aid but said it could include spring offensive equipment such as uniforms or even body armor.

A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment.

US officials, including President Joe Biden and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, have warned China not to provide military aid to Russia because of the consequences.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and the Chinese Wang Yi are both at the Munich Security Conference today, but have not yet met today.

Speaking at the conference on Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris said China has grown closer to Russia since the war began.

It’s not clear whether the support violates sanctions, officials said, or whether the US would impose sanctions or costs on China for that support.