NATO chief says concerned about China possibly sending aid to Russia
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg voiced NATO's concern over China supplying Russia with weapons in the midst of the Ukraine war.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg voiced Tuesday the alliance's concern over China supplying Russia with weapons amid the ongoing Ukraine war.
"We are also increasingly concerned that China may be planning to provide lethal support for Russia's war," the NATO chief said at a conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel.
On his part, Borrel recounted a conversation he had with Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference. Before assuring Borrel that China wasn't supplying weapons to any country at war, Wang implicitly pointed out the European double standards: questioning Europe's concern about China's alleged military support to Russia when Europe was supplying Ukraine with weapons.
Read more: Tehran: MSC held in the name of security to charm war-mongers
In the same context, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken threatened China with "real consequences" if they support Russia militarily during the war.
Blinken said Sunday that China was considering the provision of arms to Russia in the midst of the Ukraine war, warning that arms supplies from Beijing to Washington would "cause a serious problem."
"The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they're considering providing lethal support," Blinken said.
Read more: Blinken meets Wang Yi in Munich for first time after balloon incident
This follows Blinken's postponement of his visit to China after the downed balloon headlined global news, as coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby assured that this was not the time to destabilize relations with China. Beijing denies it uses spy balloons and says the craft was for weather research. It accused Washington of sending its own espionage balloons over its territory -- which the US has denied.
Read more: China to never accept US pressure on ties with Russia: Beijing
Equivocally, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday that China will never accept that US "finger-pointing" target China-Russia relations and calls on Washington to work toward a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis instead of deteriorating the situation.
The United States, as a major power, should "work for a political settlement of the [Ukraine] crisis instead of fanning the flames or profiteering from the situation."
On Saturday, according to US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, Blinken warned Wang "about the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia or assistance with systemic sanctions evasion."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said during talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in late December that despite Western sanctions and blackmail, economic turnover between Russia and China has reached historic highs, adding that the objective of increasing trade volumes to $200 billion would be met ahead of time.
Furthermore, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said Tuesday that Beijing is "deeply concerned" about the war in Ukraine, which is "intensifying and even getting out of control."
Beijing has vowed to submit a plan aimed at finding a "political solution" to end the war before the war's anniversary on February 24.
"It has been nearly a year since the crisis in Ukraine escalated across the board," Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said at a conference on global security in Beijing.
Qin called on the "countries concerned to stop adding fuel to the fire as soon as possible, to stop shifting the blame to China."
Beijing would "offer Chinese wisdom for the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, and work with the international community to promote dialogue and consultation, address the concerns of all parties and seek common security," he tersely stated.