US says China has not crossed line on providing lethal support to Russia

As we speak today, we have not seen them cross that line,’ US Secretary of State tells Senate hearing

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that China has not crossed the line to provide lethal support to Russia.

“As we speak today, we have not seen them cross that line,” he said when asked at a Senate subcommittee hearing on the State Department’s budget request if China is providing lethal support to Russia.

Blinken said since the start of the war in Ukraine, the US has been “very clear” with Beijing about providing lethal support to Russia against Ukraine.

“President Biden shared this directly with (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping) about three weeks into the aggression when they spoke by video conference,” he said.

Blinken added that China was “very carefully” watching how countries around the world would respond to the war.

“We opened a Pandora’s box around the world, where would be aggressors everywhere look at this and say, ‘if they can get away with it, I can too,’” said Blinken. “And that is a world of conflict. That is a world of war. That is a world that we’ve been in before, and we’ve had to come in and do something about it.”

“But it’s not a world that we want. So the stakes in Ukraine go well beyond Ukraine. And to your point, I think it has a profound impact in Asia,” he said.

In opening remarks to the committee, Blinken said the post-Cold War era is “over” but an “intense competition” is underway.

“We, the United States, have a positive vision for the future: a world that is free, that is secure, that is open, that is prosperous. And it’s our belief that the budget that we put forward will help advance that vision and deliver on issues that actually matter to the American people, particularly by preparing us to effectively meet two broad sets of challenges,” he said.

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