The United States is prepared to impose consequences on China’s communist regime should it provide lethal military aid to Russia for the ongoing war in Ukraine.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price, during a Feb. 22 press briefing, said that the regime would not escape sanctions if it attempted to further assist Russia’s conquest.
“We have been clear with the PRC that consequences would befall them if they were to provide lethal assistance,” Price said using an acronym for the official name of communist China, the People’s Republic of China.
“We have been clear. We will not hesitate to target Chinese companies or individuals who violate sanctions.”
The United States and its allies have long worried that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) economic and diplomatic support for Russia could evolve into providing military material outright.
Last March, White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan met with Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome for a seven-hour emergency meeting to urge the CCP not to provide such aid.
Likewise, President Joe Biden last year told CCP leader Xi Jinping that there would be “consequences” should the regime follow through on providing lethal aid for the Russian conquest of Ukraine.
Those fears were reignited this month when Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that the regime could be preparing to deliver such support.
Price was careful to note, however, that the United States did not believe such support had yet been delivered, and that it was working earnestly to deter such an eventuality.
“We have not yet seen the PRC provide Russia with lethal aid,” Price said, “but we don’t believe they’ve taken it off the table either.”
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Price said that the CCP’s willingness to bolster Russia’s economy and spread Kremlin propaganda internationally demonstrated a growing alliance between the two authoritarian powers, and that China and Russia were increasingly striving to erode the rules-based international order.