The United States and European Union fear that despite Beijing’s squeamishness over the optics of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China’s communist leaders are about to provide Russia with much needed assistance.
The development, allegedly from “very reliable evidence” contrasts sharply with President Xi Jingpin’s reassurances earlier today that war in Ukraine “is not something China wants to see.”
As The Washington Examiner reports:
“EU leaders have very reliable evidence that China is considering providing military aid to Russia. All the leaders are very aware of what’s going on,” an anonymous senior EU official told Politico. “We are concerned about the fact that China is flirting with the Russians.”
On Friday morning, Xi urged Biden to join China in ”shoulder[ing] our share of international responsibilities and work for world peace and tranquility.”
”The events again show that countries should not come to the point of meeting on the battlefield. Conflict and confrontation are not in anyone’s interest, and peace and security are what the international community should treasure the most,” he said, according to a Chinese readout released after the meeting.
Russia allegedly asked China for military aid last week. With as many as 10,000 soldiers and four generals killed in three weeks, according to U.S. officials, the Kremlin needs all the help it can get if it wants to sustain its military offensive at its current levels.
Both President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have vowed to retaliate against China if it provides lethal assistance to the Russian Federation. Additionally, the EU is threatening trade barriers against China should Beijing accept Moscow’s request.
Watch the White House’s reaction to today’s meeting with Xi and Biden:
The EU-China summit, scheduled for April 1 with President Xi Jinping, will go on as scheduled, as confirmed in a meeting with all EU countries’ top representatives in Brussels on Friday.
The deepening Ukraine crisis is seen as a test to the strength of the Russia-China relations. Beijing has repeatedly dismissed U.S. reports about its involvement in the Ukraine crisis as “disinformation.