Although China maintains that it plays a mediator role amid the Russia-Ukraine war, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that Washington would impose consequences if Beijing provided direct support to Moscow economically and militarily.
The remarks came a day before President Joe Biden’s phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss urgent issues, including China’s stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the White House.
The president “will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression,” Blinken said during a March 17 press briefing. “And we will not hesitate to impose costs,” he said, without specifying the type of costs that will be used.
Blinken said Beijing ought to defend the international laws, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity, that it pledges to support, and call off the Russian invasion as a close partner with President Vladimir Putin.
“Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter—and we’re concerned that they are considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine,” he said.
The civilian death toll climbed in Ukraine as intensified Russian attacks entered the third week. Yet, as most of the world is acting in unison to denounce Russian aggression, China has been continuously distancing itself from the conflict between Russia and the West, despite a request by Kyiv and world leaders for it to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia.
In the latest move, the Chinese regime aligned with Moscow on March 16 and voted against a decision by the highest legal body of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, to order Russia to “immediately suspend” its military operations in Ukraine.
While the Chinese ambassador to Ukraine voiced support and praised the resilience of the Ukrainian people at war, the Communist regime refused to call the Russian attack an invasion or condemn the aggression, thereby promoting Moscow’s justifications for war. In China, censors also clamped down on anti-war web posts and comments but allowed pro-Russian voices to prevail online.
As Russia’s top trade partner over the past decade, China, on the first day of Russia’s invasion, lifted all import restrictions on its wheat, which could undermine Western sanctions against the world’s largest producer of wheat. After developing close ties in recent years to align against the United States and its allies, China and Russia announced earlier last month a “no-limits” partnership and no “forbidden” areas of cooperation.
Russia was reported to have asked China for military assistance amid its military operation in Ukraine, an allegation denied by officials on both sides.
China “will never attack Ukraine,” Ambassador Fan Xianrong told Ukrainian governor Maksym Kozytskyi on Monday.
Original link : Blinken Warns China of Costs Should It Take Actions to Support Russia