Riyaz ul Khaliq
China on Monday said Washington has “no right” to point fingers at Beijing’s relations with Moscow after the US accused China of “considering sending lethal equipment” to Russia to aid in its war against Ukraine.
“China has been actively promoting peace talks and political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. The US has no right to point fingers at China-Russia relations and we do not accept coercion,” said Mao Ning, spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry.
“The US has not only continued to send lethal weapons to the battlefield in Ukraine but also continued to sell weapons to China’s Taiwan region in violation of the Three China-US joint Communiqués. What does the US really want?” Mao asked, according to the Chinese daily Global Times.
CIA Director William Burns had said on Sunday that Beijing was considering sending lethal equipment to Russia.
“We’re confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment,” Burns said in an interview.
“We also don’t see that a final decision has been made yet. And we don’t see evidence of actual shipments of lethal equipment,” said Burns, adding it is important for US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden “to make very clear what the consequences of that would be to deter it because it would be a very risky and unwise bet.”
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday also said there would be “real costs” for China if it provides lethal weapons to Russia.
“From our perspective, actually, this war presents real complications for Beijing. And Beijing will have to make its own decisions about how it proceeds, whether it provides military assistance,” said Sullivan in a TV interview.
“But, if it goes down that road, it will come at real costs to China. And I think China’s leaders are weighing that as they make their decisions,” he added.
About US sanctions against Chinese companies accused of “backing Russia,” Mao said: “We will take firm countermeasures and firmly safeguard Chinese companies’ interest.”
Mao urged the US to stop “spreading misinformation” and lift sanctions.