Why Chinas Attitude Towards Russia And Ukraine Causes Concern.webp

Why China’s Attitude Towards Russia And Ukraine Causes Concern

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly a year after Russia invaded Ukraine, new questions are surfacing about China’s potential willingness to offer military assistance to Moscow in the protracted conflict.

In an interview aired on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US intelligence is suggesting that China consider supplying Russia with arms and ammunition, an involvement in the Kremlin’s war effort that it says is a “serious problem.” ” may be.

China has refused to criticize Russia for its actions or even call it an invasion out of deference to Moscow. At the same time, it insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations must be preserved.

The question now is whether China is prepared to turn this rhetorical support into material support.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused the United States of “stoking flames and fomenting confrontations” by supplying Ukraine with defensive weapons, saying Beijing “will never accept blame (from the US) and even coercion and.” Pressure on China and Russia to accept ties.”

Here’s a look at where China stands in relation to the conflict.



China has attempted to walk a narrow — and often contradictory — line in the Russian invasion.

China says Russia was provoked into action by NATO’s eastward expansion. Just weeks before the February 24, 2022 invasion, Chinese President Xi Jinping received Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics. At that point, the sides issued a joint statement pledging to a “boundless” friendship. Since then, China has ignored Western criticism and reiterated that promise.

But China has yet to confirm the visit that Putin expects from Xi this spring.

China is “trying to have it both ways,” Blinken said on NBC on Sunday. “Publicly they present themselves as a country striving for peace in Ukraine, but privately, as I said, over the past few months we have already seen the deployment of non-lethal aid that is directly in support and support of the Russian war effort. ”



So far, China’s support for Russia has been rhetorical and political, with Beijing helping to thwart efforts to condemn Moscow at the United Nations.

Blinken, speaking at a security conference in Munich, Germany, said the US has long been concerned that China would supply arms to Russia and that “we have information that worries us that they are considering providing lethal support to Russia in the war against Ukraine.” . That comes a day after Blinken held talks with Wang Yi, the Chinese Communist Party’s top foreign policy official, at a meeting that showed little sign of easing tensions or making progress on the Ukraine issue.

“It was important for me to make it very clear to Wang Yi that this would be a serious problem,” Blinken said, referring to possible military support for Russia.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield also expressed concern about any Chinese effort to arm Russia, saying “that would be a red line.”

Russian and Chinese forces have held joint military exercises since Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, and most recently sent ships on exercises with the South African Navy on a key shipping route off the South African coast.



“It is the US that has continued to supply arms to the battlefield, not China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday. “The principle that China is following on the Ukraine issue can simply be described as promoting peace talks.”

After the meeting between Wang Yi and Blinken, China’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying it has always played a constructive role in the Ukraine conflict by adhering to principles, encouraging peace and promoting talks.

The ministry said the Sino-Russian partnership was “built on the basis of non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting to third parties” and that the US would “add fuel to the fire to seize the opportunity.” make profits.”

Beijing says it has continued normal trade relations with Russia, including buying oil and gas, as have other countries like India. This trade is seen as an economic lifeline for Moscow, but there are no documented instances of China providing direct aid to the Russian military along the lines of the cheap military drones that Iran sells to Moscow.



There would be “real consequences…if China provided lethal aid to Russia” or helped Moscow “systematically” circumvent sanctions, Blinken said in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday. He did not specify what action Washington would take in response to Chinese military support for Russia, but said other countries would join the US in taking similar action.

Efforts to bottom out below thresholds, which have fallen to their lowest levels in decades, have so far been unsuccessful. The US has sought to restrict China’s access to the latest microprocessors and manufacturing facilities, and has continued to challenge Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.

For China, the most thorny issue is US support for Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy that Beijing regards as its own territory, to be conquered by military force if necessary. Taiwan is a major buyer of US defense weapons and has hosted a growing number of prominent American elected officials, infuriating Beijing.

Meanwhile, members of the US Congress have called for the ban on TikTok and other Chinese-owned social media platforms, as well as increased sanctions against Chinese firms backed by the Communist Party, which exercises ultimate control over the Chinese economy and independent media and political opposition suppresses voices.


AP staff member Andrew Wilks reported from Istanbul.