If China decides to help Russia in what it calls a 'special military operation' against Ukraine, the US will impose sanctions on China, warned Antony Blinken.
'If China decides to help Russia in what it calls a "special military operation" against Ukraine, the United States will come up with harsh sanctions against China', asserted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken while addressing a joint news conference with his Kazakh counterpart on Tuesday.
Blinken said that the US has already warned Beijing about the actions that Washington may take if it decides to provide such assistance. He further went on to say that the US will not hesitate to impose sanctions on Chinese firms and individuals if they violate its anti-Russian stand or engage in any kind of activity that may help Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
Washington to impose sanctions on China if it supplies weapons to Russia, warns US
It will be a "serious problem" for China if Beijing provides lethal weapons to Russia, and this may escalate to the United States and other world countries as well, Blinken said. "China can't have it both ways when it comes to Russian aggression in Ukraine," Blinken added, saying that Beijing should not be coming up with peace proposals while "feeding the flames" started by Russian President Putin.
Earlier on February 18, Blinken claimed that China was considering supplying weapons to Russia that would be used in Ukraine. However, there was no clear evidence of Beijing supplying weapons to Moscow. EU foreign affairs spokesperson Nabila Massrali said several days later that the European Union had "no clear evidence" of China providing lethal weapons systems to Russia. Pentagon Spokesperson Patrick Ryder also said that the US military had registered no weapons transfer from China to Russia but did not exclude that China was looking at such an option.
Notably, this development has come at a time when Russia has shown its willingness to participate in negotiations to bring an end to the conflict in Ukraine. On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia is ready to sit at the negotiation table, but all those regions that have been captured by Russian troops will not be returned.
"There are certain realities that have already become internal factors. I mean the new territories. The constitution of the Russian Federation exists and cannot be ignored. Russia will never be able to compromise on this. These are important realities," he said. He added that Moscow was open to talks with Ukraine if Kyiv accepted Russia's control over Ukrainian regions that were annexed by Vladimir Putin in September last year.
"With a favourable state of affairs and the appropriate attitude from the Ukrainians, this can be resolved at the negotiating table." "But the main thing is to achieve our goals," Peskov added.