U.S. Raises Concerns Over China’s Possible Military Support for Russia in Ukraine Conflict

U.S. officials have raised concerns that China may be considering providing lethal military assistance to Russia in its aggression against Ukraine, according to an exclusive report Saturday. This comes as U.S.-China ties are already reeling from the Chinese spy balloon incident earlier this month.[0]

China released a position paper on Friday to call for a cease-fire and peace talks to end the war in Ukraine, seeking to cast itself as a neutral mediator in a one-year-old conflict.[1] Beijing also reiterated its calls for a political settlement to the Ukraine conflict on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.[2]

President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Monday before traveling to Poland to deliver remarks on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.[3] Following his trip to Warsaw, Biden underscored America's commitment to the NATO alliance members on the far edge of eastern Europe, a couple of which share land borders with Russia.[4]

The 12-point document issued by China’s Foreign Ministry outlined what it called “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis,” using its preferred label for the war that Russia launched a year ago.[1] The text appears to be critical of the broad economic sanctions placed upon Russia by the United States and other Western nations.[5]

U.S. officials said the Biden administration is mulling over the release of intelligence which indicates China may be contemplating the provision of arms to aid Russia in its conflict in Ukraine.[6] Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN and NATO Secretary General JENS STOLTENBERG have both warned that Beijing is “considering providing lethal support to Russia in its aggression against Ukraine,” and crossing this “red line” would plunge U.S.-China ties to a new low.

China has repeatedly denied the accusations, with its Foreign Ministry stating that it opposes unilateral sanctions unauthorized by the United Nations Security Council.[5] Meanwhile, Russian-Chinese relations are continuing to strengthen, as Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping recently declared their friendship to the world.[5]

As the US and other Western countries keep a close eye on China's actions, it remains to be seen if the current status of the Russia-China relationship will blossom into a marriage of convenience or end in a bad breakup.[7]

0. “Putin invaded Ukraine. China may be winning the war.” POLITICO, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-china-watcher/2023/02/23/putin-invaded-ukraine-china-may-be-winning-the-war-00084091

1. “China Urges End to Ukraine War, Calls for Peace Talks” The Wall Street Journal, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-urges-cessation-of-hostilities-peace-talks-to-end-ukraine-war-ae45829a

2. “U.S. officials believe China may be providing Russia non-lethal military assistance in Ukraine war” CNBC, 18 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/18/us-officials-believe-china-may-be-providing-russia-non-lethal-military-assistance-in-ukraine-war.html

3. “China furious after US warns against arming Russia: ‘The US is in no position to tell China what to do’” Fox News, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/china-furious-us-warns-against-arming-russia-us-no-position-tell-china

4. “As China mulls helping Russia in its war on Ukraine, is the U.S. in a “new type of Cold War” with Beijing?” CBS News, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-ukraine-russia-war-lethal-aid-us-in-new-type-of-cold-war-with-beijing/

5. “China calls for Russia-Ukraine ceasefire as claims to neutrality questioned” CNN, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/23/china/china-position-political-settlement-ukraine-intl-hnk/index.html

6. “US considers intelligence release on China's potential arms transfer” The Jerusalem Post, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-732454

7. “What We’re Watching: China’s budding diplomacy, Biden’s border control, Russia’s big plans” GZERO Media, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.gzeromedia.com/what-were-watching-chinas-budding-diplomacy-bidens-border-control-russias-big-plans

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