CIA Director: US 'Confident' China Mulling Weapons Deliveries To Russia
CIA Director William Burns has weighed in directly on Biden administration assertions that China is mulling providing Russia with lethal aid to further its military action in Ukraine.
Burns told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the US is "confident" that Beijing is considering it at this point. "We’re confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment," he said.
"We also don’t see that a final decision has been made yet, and we don’t see evidence of actual shipments of lethal equipment."
Burns went on to say in reference to recent warnings from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, "That’s why, I think, Secretary Blinken and the President have thought it important to make very clear what the consequences of that would be as well … because it would be a very risky and unwise bet."
This means that clearly at the very least the US has no evidence that such aid has actually been delivered, despite some ambiguous media accusations reaching back to last summer. CBS also noted...
Earlier this month, Burns told students at Georgetown University that Xi had been "very reluctant to provide the kind of lethal weapons to Russia to use in Ukraine that the Russians are very much interested in."
Additionally, the whole accusations theater seems more by design to act as a preemptive warning against what Beijing might contemplate in the future. Ultimately it seems a big nothingburger.
But it's China's silence amid G20 meetings that speaks loudest at this point:
Finance ministers of the world's largest economies have failed to agree on a closing statement following a summit in India, after China refused to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Beijing declined to accept parts of a G20 statement that deplored Russia's aggression "in the strongest terms".
Moscow said "anti-Russian" Western countries had "destabilized" the G20. It comes after China this week published a plan to end the conflict that was viewed by some as pro-Russian.
So China does no longer sign up to the statement as it was given by the G20 in Bali? That’s bad news. https://t.co/sAfd7hIpC9— Ulrike Franke (@RikeFranke) February 26, 2023
A G20 statement condemning the war included a footnote which said it was "agreed to by all member countries except Russia and China".