China's role as Ukraine peacemaker raises doubt as Beijing 'deepens' Russia ties


  • Stoltenberg noted that China is yet to supply any lethal aid to Russia
  • The U.S. has warned China of serious consequences if it provides support to Russia
  • China's Foreign Ministry has denied the allegations made by the United States

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday suggested that the alliance is seeing signs China is planning to supply lethal arms to Russia amid the war in Ukraine.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Stoltenberg noted that China has not yet sent any arms to Russia, but warned Beijing against supplying arms and supporting Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"We haven't seen any supplies of lethal aid from China to Russia, but we have seen signs that they are considering and may be planning for that," he said, adding, "That's the reason why the United States and other allies have been very clear, warning against that. And China should of course not support Russia's illegal war."

Stoltenberg's warning comes after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said they have information suggesting that Beijing is weighing whether to send Moscow lethal aid for its war against Kyiv.

"We have seen them provide non-lethal support to Russia for use in Ukraine. The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they're considering providing lethal support, and we've made very clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship," Blinken said in an interview on "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

In line with Blinken's statement, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also warned China of "serious consequences" if it provides material support or systemic sanctions evasion to Russia.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Monday denied the allegations made by Blinken and instead accused the U.S. of escalating the war in Ukraine by "pouring weapons into the battlefield." Beijing is yet to respond to Stoltenberg's warning.

In addition, Wenbin noted that China is firmly "on the side of peace and dialogue" and is committed to "promoting peace talks and has played a constructive role" in the conflict.

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February last year. While China has condemned Russia's threat of using nuclear weapons in the war, it has so far refused to condemn Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

China maintained its stance Thursday when the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution calling for peace in Ukraine and for Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory. China and 31 other countries abstained from voting.

Tank ammunition is pictured on a street, which were used during the months of Russian occupation, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in the village of Posad-Pokrovske