‘China might arm up Russia’s war’

China is considering sending weapons, ammunition and drones to Russia, according to information the Biden administration declassified at the end of February 2023…reports Asian Lite News

Russian success in Ukraine would align with China’s goals of reshaping global politics and power and could help facilitate China’s own rise as an economic and military leader, reported Asia Times.

In the backdrop of China’s goals of reshaping global politics and power that would bolster its superpower status, Beijing might arm up Russia’s war, wrote Michael A Allen, Professor of Political Science, Boise State University in Asia Times. In February 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. They issued a joint document calling for reshaping global politics.

The lengthy statement details shared values and a vision for a world without the United States as a major leader, and where China and Russia gain more control and influence.

Research has shown that countries intervene in conflicts when they think their interests may be affected and when they can make a difference. This could be a factor that pushes China to become more involved in Russia’s battle.

China is considering sending weapons, ammunition and drones to Russia, according to information the Biden administration declassified at the end of February 2023. China’s military aid would directly support Russia’s war in Ukraine, reported Asia Times.

This public disclosure, emerging less than a month after the US Navy shot down a Chinese balloon that allegedly was being used for spying purposes, further heightened existing tensions between the US and China.

It also comes as Russia is facing mounting costs in its war on Ukraine – both financial and in human lives. These setbacks have pushed Russia to seek help where the government can find it.

Russia has tried to secure weapons and other military support from allies such as North Korea and neighbouring country Belarus, wrote Allen.

However, China has not publicly announced a decision to give military aid to Russia, but, Allen is certain that Russia would welcome any assistance China would offer.

China’s decision about whether to get involved in the Ukraine war will be carefully calculated, factoring in potential long-term benefits, risks and the influence of Western powers.

“But I think that China’s choice in supporting Russia or not chiefly comes down to two considerations: how the Ukraine conflict will affect China’s overall growth in world politics, and its interest in invading Taiwan,” said Allen.

Despite the costs of war, China is considering supplying Russia military hardware for a few reasons.

Since Russia first launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, China has appeared to maintain a “pro-Russia” neutrality. That is, China is officially neutral and not contributing to the conflict, reported Asia Times.

Moreover, China’s and Russia’s foreign ministers met on March 2, 2023, and China’s government released a statement that reiterated this point, saying that the two countries “have maintained sound and steady development, setting a new paradigm for a new type of major-country relationship.”

Another reason China may want Russia to succeed in Ukraine is that a Russian victory would give China more external support in any plans to overtake Taiwan or other territories.

If Russia had won the Ukraine war as quickly as it initially planned, this might have paved the way for China to attempt a similar invasion of Taiwan, reported Asia Times.

In the past few months, the Biden administration and other Western powers have warned China that it should not get involved in the Ukraine conflict.

In March 2023, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz publicly warned China that there would be consequences if it gets involved.

Chinese vessel orders Philippine airplane to leave

As a Philippine Coast Guard plane carrying journalists flew over the Spratly Islands in Nansha Islands in the South China Sea, a Chinese voice issued a command over the radio: “Leave immediately”, Taipei Times reported.

The order came from a radio operator on a Chinese Coast Guard vessel 1,066m below — one of the dozens of ships seen in the area. Hundreds of Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels patrol the waters, swarming reefs, and harassing and attacking fishing and other boats.

They also try to expel planes that are not Chinese from the airspace overhead.

“You have entered [waters around] a Chinese reef and constituted a security threat,” the Chinese radio operator said, in one of seven messages issued in Chinese and English as the plane flew over a Philippine-occupied island and shoal. “To avoid misunderstanding, leave immediately,” according to the report by Taipei Times.

During the four-hour flight in the Cessna Caravan, Philippine Coast Guard personnel identified nearly 20 Chinese vessels, including suspected maritime militia boats, in waters around some of the nine islands and reefs occupied by the Philippines.  (ANI)

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