US will punish China if it gives military aid to Russia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/us-will-punish-china-if-it-gives-military-aid-to-russia-secretary-of-state-antony-blinken-says/articleshow/90306682.cms

Synopsis

“We’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine,, Blinken said at a news conference here. “President Biden will be speaking to President Xi tomorrow and will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said the United States would punish China if President Xi Jinping chose to give military aid to Russia for the war in Ukraine, where Russian forces have killed thousands of civilians.

“We’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine,, Blinken said at a news conference here. “President Biden will be speaking to President Xi tomorrow and will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs.”

Blinken is the most senior U.S. official to explicitly warn China against giving military aid to Russia. He said that because of China’s ties to Russia, it had a special responsibility to try to persuade President Vladimir Putin to end his war.

But “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,, Blinken said.

The White House announced Thursday that Biden and Xi would talk Friday as part of “ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication., The two presidents are expected to discuss the war in Ukraine and competition between the United States and China, among other issues, the White House said.

Biden and Xi last spoke on Nov. 15 in a video call. The talk scheduled for Friday was arranged by Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, and Yang Jiechi, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo, when the two met in Rome on Monday, said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary. During a seven-hour meeting, Sullivan warned Yang that China should not give aid to Russia.

“This is an opportunity for President Biden to assess where President Xi stands,, Psaki said at a news briefing Thursday. She added that there had been an “absence of denunciation by China of what Russia is doing,, which “flies in the face, of course, of everything China stands for, including the basic principles of the U.N. charter, including the basic principles of respect for sovereignty of nations.,

“So the fact that China has not denounced what Russia is doing in and of itself speaks volumes,, Psaki added.

Xi and Putin met Feb. 4 in Beijing and issued a statement saying their two countries had a partnership with “no limits.,

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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