The Chinese regime likely gave the green light to allow Chinese firms to provide “dual-use” support to Russia for its military aggression in Ukraine, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“There has been some non-lethal dual-use type support coming from quote/unquote ‘Chinese companies’ that almost certainly was approved by the state, because there’s really no difference,” said Blinken on Feb. 23, during an interview with The Atlantic magazine. Dual-used goods have both military and civilian applications.
In China, the Chinese Communist Party has a tight leash over both Chinese private companies and state enterprises, requiring companies to establish Party units or Party branches at their workplaces. In other words, any support or goods that Chinese companies might send to Russia is unlikely to have evaded CCP scrutiny.
So far, China has not sent “lethal military support” to Russia, Blinken added, but the communist regime might change its stance, in violation of western sanctions.
“We haven’t seen to date systematic sanctions evasion,” Blinken added. “But we also have picked up information over the last couple of months that strongly indicates that China is now considering doing that.”
Blinken’s comments highlight growing U.S. concerns that China is going help arm Russian forces in Ukraine. On Feb. 18, Blinken warned his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi about the implications and consequences if China “provides material support to Russia or assistance with systemic sanctions evasion.”
In January, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Chinese satellite manufacturer Spacety, also known as Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute Co. Ltd., for allegedly providing satellite imagery of Ukraine “in order to enable Wagner combat operations in Ukraine.”
Wagner Group, a Kremlin-directed paramilitary organization, has been designated by the Treasury Department as a “transnational criminal organization.”
Also on Thursday, Victoria Nuland, undersecretary of state for political affairs, revealed that “Chinese-based or Chinese subs of entities in Europe” will be part of an upcoming sanctions package targeting Russia for its war in Ukraine.
Blinken expressed hope that China would get the message that supporting Russia militarily would hurt its international reputation.
“I’m hopeful, but in a very clear-eyed way, that China will get that message, because it’s not only coming from us, it’s coming from many other countries who do not want to see China aiding and abetting in a material way Russia’s war effort in Ukraine,” Blinken said.
“And so to the extent China is trying to engage in a charm offensive these days, to re-engage with other countries as it comes out of COVID, I don’t think it wants to be in the business of further alienating them by providing lethal support to Russia,” Blinken added. “The jury’s out. We’re watching it very, very carefully. We’ll see how they react.”
On Feb. 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Chinese leader Xi Jinping will visit Moscow in the coming months, without specifying an exact timetable for the visit. The two leaders agreed to a “no limits” partnership in February 2022, just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Blinken said the way many countries have come together and the sanctions they have imposed on Russia over the Ukraine war, should give China something to think about if it decides to attack Taiwan.
“So I think that that’s something that China has to factor into its thinking about the future. I think it has to factor into its thinking the huge reputational costs that Russia has incurred,” Blinken said.
Taiwan is a de-facto country with its own democratically-elected government, military, and currency. However, the Chinese regime views the island as part of its territory that must be united with the mainland, by force if necessary.
During a Party meeting in October last year, Xi reiterated that China will never “give up the use of force” to take over Taiwan.
Blinken said what happens across the Taiwan Strait, a narrow body of water separating China from Taiwan, is “a matter of concern to quite literally the entire world.”
“Fifty percent of the commercial container traffic goes through that strait every day. A big majority of the semiconductors that the world needs for everything from our smartphones, our dishwashers, to our automobiles are produced on Taiwan,” Blinken explained.
He added, “If there were a crisis in Taiwan as a result of China’s aggression in some fashion, that would have I think disastrous consequences for the world economy and for countries around the world.”
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, during a meeting with a U.S. congressional delegation on Feb. 21, sought to bolster military exchanges with the United States. However, Tsai did not provide details about what these exchanges would entail.
In January, Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduced the Taiwan Conflict Deterrence Act (H.R.554) that would require the Secretary of Treasury to disclose financial institutions and accounts connected to senior Chinese officials if the president informs Congress of a threat from China.
“China’s vision for a world order is fundamentally different from ours. Ours is based on the ideal of having a liberal world order; China’s is an illiberal one,” Blinken said. “They need an order, they want an order, but it’s profoundly illiberal, not liberal.”
From The Epoch Times