China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, is heading to Russia ahead of the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine and amid rising fears that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may provide weapons to Russia for its war. Wang Yi is expected to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin during his visit.
The United States expressed its concern over the potential arms supply to Russia during a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Wang Yi at a global security conference in Munich on Feb. 18. Blinken warned Wang of consequences if the CCP provides materiel support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The CCP foreign affairs spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, stated that the CCP would talk to Russia about a political settlement for the war, but did not rule out providing weapons. He also said the CCP’s goal is to avoid a nuclear war. However, both Russia and China are modernizing and expanding their nuclear arsenals, with Russia deploying its nuclear forces in a posture unseen since the Cold War.
On Feb. 21, Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would unilaterally suspend its involvement in the New START agreement, which limited the number of active warheads both it and the United States could deploy. This means that Russia can freely expand and modernize its nuclear arsenal. Additionally, Russia has deployed tactical nuclear weapons to the Baltic Sea for the first time since the Cold War.
The CCP and the Kremlin declared a “no limits” partnership last year, up to and including strategic cooperation. This presents a dire strategic outlook for the United States, which one U.S. general has called an “epic threat,” as the United States has never before had to deter two near-peer nuclear adversaries simultaneously.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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