CIA says possibility China is providing lethal aid to Russia

Mint Message

In an interview with CBS, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA for short, Bill Burns confirmed that there is a possibility of China sending lethal aid in order to help Russia fight its current war against Ukraine. During an episode of the news show "Face the Nation", Burns told the moderator " We're confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment". The idea that Chinese president Xi Jinping is considering helping Russia to escalate the conflict with Ukraine seems to be different from the previous assumptions made by the Biden administration. Earlier this month, in fact, Burns told the students he was talking to at Georgetown University that Xi was "very reluctant to provide the kind of lethal weapons to Russia to use in Ukraine that the Russians are very much interested in."

Despite these statements, Burns did emphasize that China is yet to make the decision to transfer any form of lethal aid to Russia:

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. And 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. I think the Chinese are also trying to weigh the consequences of, you know, what the concerns we've expressed are, you know, about providing lethal equipment. Where's the point at which, you know, they would run into some pretty serious consequences. And that's what we've tried to make clear. There's no foreign leader who's watched more carefully Vladimir Putin's experience in Ukraine, the evolution of the war, than Xi Jinping has. I think, in many ways, he's been unsettled and sobered by what he's seen. - CIA Director Bill Burns

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