Last weekend, US Secretary Of State Antony (without an “h”) Blinken and other NATO ministers used the Munich Security Conference to send a message to China’s Foreign Affairs Commission Councillor Wang Yi. Although China has sided with Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, so far the assistance has been “non-lethal”.
Blinken stated that he had told his Chinese counterpart, Martha Radditz of ABC, that any Russian lethal aid would have an adverse effect on US-China relations. This was presumably because the 10% reserving for Hunter Biden’s business deals is a “big guy”.
RADDATZ – And you speak about this lethal aid. Do you have any evidence of this? Is it possible that they are about to send lethal assistance to Russia for the war in Ukraine
BLINKEN: Martha. What I can tell is this. First, President Biden had spoken to President Xi a few weeks before the Russian aggression began and stated that we were deeply concerned if China gave lethal support to Russia. Part of the reason that we had that conversation back in March is that it was just a few weeks ago that President Putin and President Xi had sat down and discussed a partnership without limits. We were concerned that any limits could include significant support for Russia’s aggression.
This has been something we have been closely monitoring. While China has provided rhetorical, diplomatic, and political support to Russia for most of the time, we now have information that raises concerns that China may be considering lethal support for Russia in the conflict against Ukraine. This was a serious problem, and I wanted to make it clear to Wang Yi.
Wang Yi didn’t seem to pay much attention to the message, regardless of what it was. Yesterday, he met with Vladimir Putin, the Russian President.
🇷🇺🇨🇳Vladimir Putin holds a meeting in Moscow with Wang Yi
◽️Russian-Chinese relations are developing as we planned, we are reaching new frontiers
◽️Cooperation between Russia and China is very important for the stabilization of the international situation pic.twitter.com/xGiqmaH5WY
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) February 22, 2023
China’s most senior diplomat and Foreign Affairs Commission Councillor, Wang Yi: Beijing will strengthen its economic and strategic cooperation with Russia pic.twitter.com/8DHGeSofwg
— LogKa (@LogKa11) February 22, 2023
Although I don’t know Commie, this is a sign that it’s both significant and concerning.
Wang Yi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Wang said the coexistence of challenges and opportunities is the dialectics of history.pic.twitter.com/ETczc4M9q6
— Zhang Meifang张美芳 (@CGMeifangZhang) February 23, 2023
This was probably taken by Wang Yi when he told Lavrov about the conversation with Blinken.
🚨#BREAKING: Lavrov and #China‘s top diplomat Wang Yi having a meeting in Moscow this morning pic.twitter.com/gO29qsOdjh
— Breaking News 24/7 (@Worldsource24) February 22, 2023
The Wall Street Journal reports now that the US is preparing to release intelligence information showing that China may be considering lethal aid for Russia.
According to U.S. officials, the Biden administration may release intelligence that it believes shows China is considering whether to provide weapons to Russia to aid in its war in Ukraine.
According to U.S. and European officials, Western nations have been able to discern that Beijing may be easing its self-imposed restrictions on weapons supplies to Russia in recent weeks. However, it seems that China has not yet made a decision. According to intelligence assessments, Beijing used to be cautious about limiting its support to oil purchases and financial assistance. However, this stance appears to have changed.
A senior western official stated that “up until now” there was “some ambiguity as to what practical assistance China might offer Russia.” He said that intelligence now available from the U.S. and its allies is “much more ambiguous.”
When Wang Wenbin (a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson) was asked Wednesday if China would provide lethal support to Russia’s war effort, Wang Wenbin didn’t answer directly. “It is a well-known fact that NATO countries, including the U.S., are the largest source of weaponry on the battlefield in Ukraine. Yet they continue to claim that China may be supplying weapons for Russia,” stated Mr. Wang.
It’s hard to imagine a more inept and sloppy response to this situation than “we are going to release some information that shows the ChiComs may be considering sending lethal assistance to Russia.” Governments think of all sorts of actions all the time. The State Department of Blinken believed they could prevent a Russian invasion by disclosing information about Russian plans. It didn’t go very well.
It doesn’t seem like a good strategy to make a big deal of the harsh talking-to that was given to a senior ChiCom diplomat. This forces the Chinese to either give the Russians lethal assistance or look like they’ve been cucked. I can’t think of anything more humiliating. This sloppy move almost guarantees that China will provide lethal aid to Russia, according to me. This is especially true when the Biden White House does not appear to be capable of doing anything. Basically, the White House’s actions regarding China have been submissive, timid, or weak.
What is the real question? Did we expect China to not give Russia lethal assistance in the event that the Russian Army was being curb-stomped on in Ukraine? If that was our expectation, then “self-delusion” is about 11. China will send Russia lethal assistance, of course. Russia is now a Chinese client state thanks to its material extraction, a colonial-style economy that feeds China’s industry. China may not be concerned about Russia’s fate (this is my personal opinion), but they are very concerned about the country in their sphere that gets thumped while sitting on their hands.
As a principle, we can count on China to provide lethal assistance to Russia. This brings us to the “so how?” question. What does it mean if China sends weaponry to Russia? And why should we care?
According to Wall Street Journal:
It is not known what weapons Russia may receive from the Chinese arms trade. China is the world’s leader in producing weapons that were heavily used in the Ukraine war. This includes long-range artillery, precision multiple rocket launchers, antitank, and surface-to-surface missiles, as well as small tactical drones and loitering munitions.
Here are the reasons I am skeptical about this aid. China cannot supply the most important Russian weaponry, which is artillery ammunition. They use different calibers of artillery. The Russians are most in need of artillery ammunition. Unless the Chinese improve their factories or create new ones, they won’t be able to supply them. Any other system will need a support logistics system, operator training of different lengths, or Chinese trainers embedded in the Russian Army. This was done by the Iranians to support their Shahid suicide bombers and they have been quite casualties.
Based on what we have seen about Russia’s capability to train and equip its army, and the effectiveness of its army in using its weapons effectively, it seems fair to ask if China’s arms supply to Russia is political theater or military assistance. We have seen that the Russian military logistics system is unable to transport measurable quantities of Chinese equipment into the theater.
As China’s actions regarding COVID have shown, the possibility of China intervening to wage war in Europe is opening up the eyes of countries that previously considered China neutral or benign to see the true nature and intentions of China.