US ups ante, warns of sanctions if China sends arms to Russia

China has so far avoided sending lethal weapon systems to Russia.

Published: 20th February 2023 08:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2023 08:34 AM   |  A+A-

US China flag

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Saturday confronted his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during talks on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference and made it clear that any material support to Russia will attract US sanctions.

China has so far avoided sending lethal weapon systems to Russia. However, in an interview with a US television network on Sunday, Blinken said based on the  information the US has, China is now considering providing “lethal support”, which he said would include “everything from ammunition to the weapons themselves.”

“He told Wang then that if China provides material support to Russia or assistance with systemic sanctions evasion, there will be consequences,” a US official said. In recent months, Russia suffered a series of setbacks with Ukraine managing to wrest back vast swathes of territory, thanks to western arms.  If China sends lethal weapons now, it may help Russia turn the tables again.

During the encounter, Blinken also called out China for its “irresponsible act” of sending a balloon over the US airspace, and in unequivocal terms, made it clear that it must not happen again.

Hot air
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi slammed the US for shooting down its ‘spy’ balloon early this month,   terming it “unbelievable and almost hysterical.”

ALSO READ | How Ukraine war has shaped US planning for a China conflict


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