EU top diplomat warns China against providing arms to Russia
Brussels/Ankara, Feb 20 (EFE).- The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday warned that China would cross a “red line” in its relationship with the bloc if it decides to send arms to Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.
“I expressed our strong concern about China providing arms to Russia,” Borrell said ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, adding he asked Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi to refrain from it
“He told me that they are not going to do it,” he added, referring to his conversation with Wang, who was traveling to Russia on Monday.
“But we will remain vigilant,” Borell continued.
The EU top diplomat’s remarks came after US secretary of state Antony Blinken, who is on a visit to quake-hit Turkey, said earlier on the day the United States was concerned that China was “considering supporting Russia’s war effort in Ukraine with lethal assistance.”
“This would be a real problem for China in its relationship with many other countries, not just the United States,” he added, reiterating a statement he made Sunday in which he claimed the US had “information” that Beijing was considering the move.
Blinken added that US president Joe Biden had warned China’s Xi Jinping against supplying lethal assistance or helping Moscow evade international sanctions.
The US diplomat met with China’s foreign minister Wang Li on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference over the weekend to express his concerns and broach the thorny topic of the alleged Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the US earlier this month.
Beijing on Monday dismissed the US claims.
“It is the US who have been continuously providing weapons to the war,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in his routine press conference Monday.
“Who is working for peace and who is fanning the flames and stoking confrontation, the international community knows clearly,” he added.