Reiterating past unfounded commentary made by US State Secretary Antony Blinken, US officials are sticking to claims that China is considering sending weapons to Russia in order to bolster the ongoing special military operation.
Citing unnamed US officials “familiar with intelligence reports,” a US news outlet reported the weapons China is allegedly considering sending to Moscow include artillery and drones that will be used to fend off a supposed Ukrainian counteroffensive this summer.
If true, US officials say the decision would prompt a discussion about sanctions being placed on China.
However, none of the officials provided proof of their claims, which came a day after China released a 12-point document calling for peace talks in Ukraine and the end of the conflict. Officiaxls in Beijing have vehemently denied they are considering sending weapons to Moscow.
“It is the United States and not China that is endlessly shipping weapons to the battlefield,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said after Blinken warned China against supporting Russia. “We urge the United States to earnestly reflect on its own actions and do more to alleviate the situation, promote peace and dialogue, and stop shifting blame and spreading false information.”
However, on Friday, US President Joe Biden admitted to reporters that there is “no evidence so far” that China is helping Russia militarily. Biden said he made it clear to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that any support from China to Russia would have consequences and reminded him that the Chinese economy relies on investments from Western countries and companies. He later told a US media outlet that the US would “impose severe sanctions” on China if it provided Russia with military support.
Wang, responding to comments from Blinken, said the United States was “in no position to make demands of China,” and pointed out that China and Russia’s relationship was a “collaborative partnership” built on non-alignment and non-confrontation.
Meanwhile, a German newspaper reported Russia was speaking with a Chinese company about purchasing 100 drones. Both the Chinese government and the company denied the claims.
The European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Monday the EU has also asked China not to deliver weapons to Russia.
To help bolster their claims, US officials told media that the Biden administration is considering declassifying intelligence reports so they can be shared with the public and allies, but the report gives no timeline on when that may happen.
China has been criticized by the West for not condemning Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, although China has repeatedly called for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. China has condemned sanctions the West put on Russia in response to the special operation.
In its peace plan, China called for ceasing hostilities, returning to the peace table, ending unilateral sanctions, and protecting civilians and prisoners of war, and warned both sides against using nuclear weapons, among other points.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to the proposal by releasing his own that included the total withdrawal of Russian troops, including from Crimea which reunited with Russia as a result of a referendum in 2014.