Following an exposé that China is “strongly considering” sending ammunition and weapons to Russia to aid its war against Ukraine, a former military official said Beijing could cancel its plans to support Moscow.
Retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane alluded to the remark of Secretary of State Antony Blinken that China is planning to provide weapons to Russia as the first anniversary of the war is only a few days away.
“I agree with the administration for beginning to expose what they have picked up, likely in intelligence circles, that China is getting ready to provide some military lethal aid to Russia,” Keane said in his interview with Fox News, The Hill reported.
“And I think coming out and exposing — and I would go further and tell them — what we think they are attempting to provide, China will pull back, likely, after that public exposure,” he added.
Keane said it should not come as a surprise that China “wants Russia to succeed” in the war in Ukraine.
The former army general noted that China has not condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and has bought Russian oil to offset Western sanctions against its closest ally.
In an interview with CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Saturday, Blinken bared that the U.S. intelligence had reported that China is interested in providing Russia with lethal aid.
Blinken did not elaborate on what type of lethal aid China is considering, but he noted that it could be “everything from ammunition to the weapons themselves.”
The Secretary of State said China’s plans could cause a “serious problem” in its bilateral ties with the U.S.
Despite intelligence reports that China would aid Russia, Blinken also revealed that it has already provided non-lethal support to Russia in its war against Ukraine by using Chinese private companies.
“To date, we have seen Chinese companies, and of course, in China, there’s really no distinction between private companies and the state,” Blinken said.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has also warned against China by saying, “What is happening in Europe today… could happen in Asia tomorrow.”
In his remarks during the Munich Security Conference, Stoltenberg told European allies that Beijing “is watching closely to see the price Russia pays — or the reward it receives for its aggression,” Politico reported.
Stoltenberg also called on the West to avoid repeating the same mistake with China and end its dependence on raw materials.
In the run-up to the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a “no limits” partnership, where there are “no forbidden areas of cooperation.”