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Secretary Blinken doubles down on warning for China

The secretary of state commented that he has “deep concerns” about the possibility of the Asian superpower delivering arms to Russia.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (C) arrives to visit the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, in Ankara on February 20, 2023.

Relations between the US and China are at a low ebb. Tensions over Taiwan, trade wars, and balloons have created an atmosphere of distrust of China in the NATO alliance. Though probably borne out of the fear of the communist nation’s economic world dominance, overtaking the US’s GDP in 2035, fresh comments from the US’s highest diplomatic representative, Anthony Blinken, have opened another fissure.

Blinken described US fears of a growing bond between China and Russia. With the latter involved in the devastating war in Ukraine, the secretary of state explained how he wanted to keep China from supplying Russia.

“To date, we have seen Chinese companies... provide non-lethal support to Russia for use in Ukraine. The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they’re considering providing lethal support,” he said.

Mr Blinken told CBS that “of course, in China, there’s really no distinction between private companies and the state”.

It would cause a “serious problem for us and in our relationship”, he added.

China and Russia grew closer as the west cut ties Vladimir Putin. With no trading prospects in Europe, it should not be a surprise that the two powers have come to close agreement. The US has taken a lead rle in supplying weapons for Ukraine.

How did the Chinese government respond?

China’s top foreign minister Wang Yi is to visit Moscow on Monday though his country has already issued a rebuttal to Blinken’s comments.

We do not accept the United States’ finger-pointing on China-Russia relations, let alone coercion and pressure,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference on Monday, when asked about the allegations.

The US is “in no position to make demands of China,” he added.

While Yi’s country has so far remained apart from the war in Ukraine it has not described the Russian attack as an invasion. 34 other nations took the same position in a UN vote back in March with five voting against.