Putin will get military help from China, EU claims as bloc cites 'very reliable' evidence

Date:


Speaking on Thursday, March 17, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Joe Biden administration was concerned China was considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment for use in Ukraine, something Beijing has denied. And now an EU official is claiming the bloc has “very reliable evidence” China is considering providing support to Moscow against Ukraine. This is despite claims from Beijing that no such assistance is in the works.

A senior EU official, speaking anonymously to Politico, said: “EU leaders have very reliable evidence that China is considering providing military aid to Russia. All the leaders are very aware of what’s going on.”

US President Joe Biden is expected to tell Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, March 18, that Beijing will pay a steep price if it supports Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, a warning that comes at a time of deepening acrimony between the nations.

President Biden and President Xi began a video call at 9:03 am Eastern time (13:03 GMT), the White House said.

The talks, which follow warnings from Washington that Beijing risks isolation if it offers Russia greater support, will be the first between Biden and Xi since November and their fourth interaction since Biden took office in January last year. They are likely to be loaded with tension.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told MSNBC that Xi should tell Russian President Vladimir Putin “to end this war of choice, this war of carnage” in Ukraine.

“China needs to stand on the right side of history. It needs to ensure that it does not backfill, financially or in any other way, sanctions that have been imposed on Russia,” she told CNN.

As the two leaders prepared for their talks, a Chinese aircraft carrier sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Friday.

The USS Ralph Johnson, an Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer, shadowed the carrier at least partly on its route.

China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own, and has over the past two years stepped up its military activity near the island to assert its sovereignty claims, alarming Taipei and Washington.

Mr Blinken said Biden would make clear to Xi that China will bear responsibility if it supported Russia’s “aggression” and that Washington “will not hesitate to impose costs.”

READ MORE: ‘No hesitation’ Defector issues chilling nuclear warning 

Washington is also concerned that China could help Russia circumvent Western economic sanctions.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its fourth week, has killed hundreds of civilians, reduced city areas to rubble and sparked a humanitarian crisis as millions flee the country.

Russia fired missiles at an airport near Lviv on Friday, a city where hundreds of thousands had sought refuge far from Ukraine’s battlefields, as Moscow tries to regain the initiative in its stalled campaign against Ukraine.

Ukraine has added a new front in a US-Chinese relationship already at its worst level in decades, further deflating Biden’s initial hopes of easing a wide range of disputes by using a personal connection with Xi that predates his term in office.

DON’T MISS:
‘Paranoid’ Putin ‘holding back’ full Russian army in ‘fear’ [INSIGHT]
Russia’s plans for stealth invasion of Baltic states laid bare [ANALYSIS]
Oil Price surge: Fears of ‘de-facto lockdown’ soar [DATA]

The United States and China are the world’s two largest economies and Washington has been anxious to avoid a new “Cold War” between them, seeking instead to define the relationship as one of competitive coexistence.

However, China’s “no-limits” strategic partnership with Russia announced last month and its stance on Ukraine has called that into question.

China has refused to condemn Russia’s action in Ukraine or call it an invasion, and it has censored online content in China that is pro-West or unfavorable to Russia.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Popular

More like this
Related

'Not acceptable!' Sinn Fein and Boris on Brexit collision course – fierce protest

Speaking after a meeting with Mr Johnson at...

Supreme Court sides with Sen. Ted Cruz in fight over federal campaign loan repayment limits

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Texas...

'Be interested in what matters' UK's strictest headteacher shrugs off Churchill quote row

Katharine Birbalsingh, who is the founder and head...

Camila Cabello joins 'The Voice'; 'Quantum Leap' returns to NBC's lineup this fall

NBC is adding a "Quantum Leap" remake and...