EU top diplomat says China will cross ‘red line’ if it sends arms to Russia – POLITICO

BRUSSELS — It could be a “crimson line” for the European Union if China sends arms to Russia, the EU’s overseas coverage chief mentioned Monday.

Josep Borrell’s warning got here two days after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed “deep concern” that China was contemplating offering doubtlessly “deadly help” to Russia for its conflict towards Ukraine.

Recalling a gathering he held on Saturday with top Chinese language diplomat Wang Yi, Borrell advised reporters: “I expressed our robust concern about China offering arms to Russia. I requested him not to try this, and expressing not solely our concern, however the truth that for us, it can be a crimson line in our relationship.

“He advised me that they’re not going to do it, that they don’t plan to do it,” Borrell mentioned, including: “However we will stay vigilant.”

Different EU overseas ministers attending a Overseas Affairs Council in Brussels additionally warned Beijing not to cross that line.

“If such a choice is taken [by China] it will positively have penalties, in fact,” Tobias Billström, overseas minister of Sweden, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, mentioned. “We stand aspect by aspect with america on that message.”

Lithuanian Overseas Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis mentioned the EU can be on the identical web page because the U.S. ought to Chinese language arms find yourself in Russian arms.

“There have been those that anticipated the West … not to be united when it got here to the Russian assault on Ukraine, however we have been united. So I might assume that, drawing from this lesson, there can be sufficient arguments for China not to help Russia in its genocidal conflict in Ukraine,” Landsbergis mentioned.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy additionally urged China to stay “pragmatic.”

“I personally have appealed to the Chinese language management by direct channels and publicly not to provide any help to the Russians on this conflict. My hope is that Beijing will keep a practical angle, as a result of in any other case we’re risking World Battle III, I feel they’re properly conscious of that,” he mentioned in an interview with Italian media. “Our relationship with China has all the time been wonderful, we now have had intense financial relations for a few years, and it is in everybody’s curiosity that they don’t change.”

Chinese language state-owned protection corporations have been discovered to be transport navigation gear, jamming expertise and jet-fighter elements to sanctioned Russian government-owned protection corporations, Wall Road Journal reported earlier this month.

Nicolas Camut contributed reporting.

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