US Pledges ‘Consequences’ for China If It Provides Military Aid to Russia

US Pledges ‘Consequences’ for China If It Provides Military Aid to Russia
US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during the daily press briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, on Feb. 25, 2021. (Nicholas Kamm/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Andrew Thornebrooke

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.”

China, Russia Seek World Where ‘Might Makes Right’

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.

“We are concerned because these two countries share a vision, they share an intent,” Price said. “It is not a vision of a rules-based order, of a liberal order of democracies living peacefully side by side.”

“It is a vision that hearkens back to a previous era. An era in which big countries could bully small countries, borders could be redrawn by force. An era in which might could make right.”

To that end, Price said that the Biden administration believed the CCP was underestimating the resolve of the international community to strike back at threats, and that its leadership was miscalculating how sorely it would be harmed should it move forward with providing aid to Russia.

“The rest of the world sees the PRC, despite its veneer of neutrality… provide important forms of support for Russia,” Price said.

“China, we think, seriously risks miscalculating by continuing its support for Russia which is directly impacting how the rest of the world sees the PRC.”

Price also noted the recent visit of China’s top diplomat to Moscow on the eve of the anniversary of Ukraine’s invasion, saying that the event underscored the CCP’s alignment with Russia’s war of aggression.

“His travel there on the eve of one year of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine is further evidence that the PRC continues to align itself with Moscow, even as Moscow wages this brutal war.”

Speaking at a separate press conference on Wednesday, Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh reiterated the United States’ stance.

“There will certainly be consequences for China should they deepen their relationship with Russia,” Singh said.

“It would certainly be a miscalculation by China to provide lethal aid to that.”

Andrew Thornebrooke is a national security correspondent for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.
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