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Tipsheet

Is China About to Send Military Aid to Putin?

Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Concern over a growing evil axis of sorts between Russia and China was already noted when President Biden botched his months-long attempt to have the Chinese convince Putin not to invade Ukraine (as Townhall covered here). The result of Biden's foreign policy fail saw China take the information provided to them by the Biden administration and share it with Putin, building goodwill between the two dictatorial regimes. 

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Now, according to European Union officials, China is looking to deepen its ties to Russia and further link the two nations against the United States and other NATO countries:

"EU leaders are in possession of 'very reliable evidence' that China is considering military assistance to Russia, a senior EU official told POLITICO, threatening potential trade measures if weapons’ deliveries go ahead."

And why wouldn't they? China has a lot more in common with Russia — lack of individual freedom, suffocating government censorship, forceful destruction of dissent — than the United States. China has echoed some of Russia's false claims about the United States bearing the blame for destabilizing Europe and the bloodshed in Ukraine, and the Chinese Communist Party unleashed its censors and propaganda machinery to shut down anti-Putin posts while pushing pro-Russian talking points.

This news of China's apparent intention to provide military assistance to Russia, much in the same way the United States has been providing — and just approved an additional $800 million — in aid to Ukraine came at the same time President Biden was conducting a nearly two-hour meeting with President Xi Jinping. 

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Prior to the bilateral call between Biden and Jinping, Secretary of State Blinken admitted on Thursday that the Biden administration was "concerned that [China is] considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine." As the EU officials claim, China is indeed taking Putin's request seriously. 

The anonymous official quoted in the report noted that the EU is "concerned about the fact that China is flirting with the Russians" and threatened to “impose trade barriers against China” if they indeed agree to provide support for Putin's war on Ukraine. “This is the only language Beijing understands,” the official said of financial penalties that would be levied against China if it starts aiding Russia.

Similarly, Biden's Secretary of State Antony Blinken threatened on Thursday that "China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia's aggression and we will not hesitate to impose costs." However, as is now apparent, waiting until Russia began its invasion to throw sanctions at Putin and Russian oligarchs has not dissuaded Russia from further attacks on Ukraine. 

While the fog of war makes it difficult to confirm the exact number of losses suffered by Russia, Forbes' reporting as of March 10th estimates that Russia has lost 993 pieces of equipment including "465 Russian heavy vehicles (tanks, armored fighting vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers)," so it makes sense for Putin to be seeking some help militarily, however embarrassing it might be to admit he needs it. 

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If Biden's high stakes two-hour call presumably aimed at talking Xi Jinping out of helping Russia goes as well as the Biden administration's attempts to have the Chinese tell Putin not to invade, we're likely to soon see Chinese equipment rolling into Ukraine. 

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