Explanation | Why China’s stance on Russia and Ukraine is raising concerns.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk to each other during a meeting on February 4, 2022 in Beijing, China, weeks before Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.  File
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk to each other during their meeting on February 4, 2022 in Beijing, China, weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. File | Photo credit: AP

About a year later Russia invaded Ukraine.New questions are being raised about China’s possible willingness to offer military aid to Moscow.

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In an interview aired Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken said that US intelligence suggests. China is considering supplying arms and ammunition to Russia.the Kremlin’s involvement in the war effort, which he said would be a “serious problem”.

China has refused to criticize Russia for its actions or call it an attack on Moscow’s respect. At the same time, it insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations must be upheld. Now the question is, is China ready to convert this rhetorical support into material support?

Explanation | Locating China in the Russia-Ukraine War

Here’s a look at where China stands on the dispute.

Does China support Russia in the war against Ukraine?

China has tried to walk a fine – and often contradictory – line On the Russian invasion.

China says NATO’s westward expansion prompted Russia to act. A few weeks before the February 24, 2022 attack, Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin. For the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the two sides issued a joint statement at the time pledging their commitment to “no-limits” friendship. China has since ignored Western criticism and reaffirmed the pledge. .

Read this also Russia wants ‘new level’ of China relations

But China has not yet confirmed the visit Mr. Putin has said he expects from Mr. Xi this spring.

China is “trying to have it both ways,” Mr. Blanken said on NBC on Sunday. “Publicly, they present themselves as a country seeking peace in Ukraine, but privately, as I said, we’ve already seen in these past months. The delivery of non-lethal aid that Directly aids and abets the Russian war effort.

Has China provided materials to help Russia?

So far, China’s support for Russia Rhetorical and political, Beijing has helped block efforts to condemn Moscow at the United Nations.

Mr. Blanken told a security conference in Munich, Germany, that the United States had long been concerned that China would supply Russia with weapons and that “we have information that concerns us that they are supplying Russia with weapons.” “Considering providing lethal assistance in war against Ukraine.” It came a day after Mr. Blanken’s talks with the Chinese Communist Party’s most senior foreign policy official, Wang Yi, showed little sign of easing tensions or progress on the Ukraine issue.

Read this also How the Ukraine War Has Shaped US Planning for the China Conflict

“It was important for me to be clear with Wang Yi that this would be a serious issue,” Mr Blanken said, referring to possible military support for Russia.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield also expressed her concern over any attempt by China to arm Russia, saying “that would be a red line.”

Russian and Chinese forces have held joint military exercises since Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, most recently with the South African Navy taking part in a series of exercises off the South African coast. have been sent to the lane.

What did China say on this issue?

After the meeting between Wang and Blanken, China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it has always played a constructive role in the Ukraine conflict by upholding principles, encouraging peace and promoting dialogue.

The ministry said China and Russia’s partnership was “established on the basis of non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third parties” and that the US was adding “fuel to the fire” to take advantage of the opportunity. . Making a profit.”

Beijing says it has continued normal trade relations with Russia, including purchases of oil and gas. Countries like India. However, the trade is seen as throwing an economic lifeline to Moscow, but there have been no documented cases of China providing direct aid to the Russian military, such as the cheap military drones that Iran sells to Moscow. sells

What can happen if China helps Russia?

“To the best of our knowledge, they haven’t crossed that line yet,” Mr. Blanken told NBC on Sunday.

Mr. Blanken did not specify what steps the United States might take in response to China’s military aid to Russia, but efforts to bring down ties, which have hit their lowest level in decades, have so far been unsuccessful. The United States has sought to limit Chinese access to sophisticated microprocessors and manufacturing equipment, and continues to challenge Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.

It is the most sensitive issue for China. US support for TaiwanA self-governing island democracy that Beijing considers its territory to conquer through military force if it deems necessary. Taiwan is a major customer of US defense weapons and has hosted a growing number of prominent US elected officials, angering Beijing.

Meanwhile, members of the US Congress have called for a ban on TikTok and other Chinese-owned social media platforms, as well as increased sanctions on Chinese firms backed by the Communist Party, which have ultimate control over the Chinese economy and free speech. Suppress media and political opposition. Voices

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