Skip to content

Blinken: There Will Be Consequences for China if They Deepen Their Relationship with Russia

La sagaz ambigüedad estratégica de Beijing ante Moscú

Leer en Español

Friday, February 24th, marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The United States has not been just another player in the tug-of-war between Vladimir Putin and Volodomir Zelensky. The Biden administration helped the Ukrainians with millions of dollars in weaponry to counter the invasion. Now, both Western leaders may have a new concern, as China wants to be part of the game.

Over the weekend, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed that the Communist Party of China (CPC) had sent non-lethal weapons to Russia and was seriously considering a new shipment, this time with lethal weapons. Blinken also assured that he had advised Xi Jinping about this eventual assistance to Putin.

The official’s warnings were echoed by the Pentagon through its deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh. “There will certainly be consequences for China should they deepen their relationship with Russia. We haven’t seen them give lethal aid to Russia at this time for the war, but they also haven’t taken that off the table,” he assured a press conference. At the same time, he refused to clarify what those “consequences” would be.

China is one of the few countries that has not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is logical considering that, prior to the invasion, Xi and Putin announced a “partnership without limits.”

Beijing did not stand idly by and quickly responded to Washington’s warnings. Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, gave a press conference in which he indicated that “It is the U.S., not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield”. He lectured the Biden administration: “The U.S. is in no position to tell China what to do.”

Yellen also added to the threats to China

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently participated in a meeting of the Group of 20, where she made it clear that the United States will take action if China sends weapons to Russia. She spoke of “serious consequences”, translated into future sanctions for the Asian giant.

“We have made clear that providing material support to Russia or assistance with any kind of systemic sanctions evasion would be a very serious concern for us. “We will certainly continue to make clear to the Chinese government and the companies and banks in their jurisdiction about what the rules are regarding our sanctions and the serious consequences they would face for violating them,” Yellen said.

She welcomed the fact that the existing sanctions against Russia are working, painting a hostile future for the Russian economy. Not content with this, she called for tighter restrictions.

“We are seeking to strengthen sanctions and make sure that we address violations of sanctions. We have deprived them of many channels they can obtain material that is critical for their defense efforts. That is a particular focus we have in mind in respect to enforcement of existing sanctions and perhaps with respect to further sanctions,” the Treasury secretary added.

Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.