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China Says It Will Not Deliver Weapons to Russia: German Chancellor

The Chinese regime has declared that it will not supply Russia with weapons to aid in its invasion of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on March 5.

Scholz made the comments at a press conference at the German government retreat in Meseberg, north of Berlin on Sunday, where he was joined by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The chancellor was asked by reporters if he has received any conclusive evidence that China was considering delivering weapons to Russia and whether he would support sanctions against Beijing if it was found to have helped arm Moscow.

“We all agree that there must be no weapons deliveries, and the Chinese government has stated that it wouldn’t deliver any,” the chancellor replied. “That is what we are demanding and we are watching it.”

Von der Leyen, meanwhile, said that “we have no evidence for this so far, but we must observe it every day,” adding that potential sanctions against Beijing are a “hypothetical question that can only be answered if it were to become reality and fact.”

Scholz reiterated his comments in an interview with CNN that aired on Sunday.

Noting that Germany, in line with Europe and the United States has been “very clear there should be no circumventing of sanctions by China” he stressed that officials are “looking intensely that this is not happening.”

China Not Circumventing Sanctions

“As far as we see, more or less, they are not circumventing but we will continue to look,” Scholz said. “And this is even more so that we ask them not to deliver weapons to Russia and we are telling them in our bilateral talks but also publicly that they should not.”

“Publicly they said they will not deliver weapons,” he said of Beijing.

Asked by CNN if he could imagine sanctioning China if it did aid Russia, Scholz replied, “I think it would have consequences, but we are now in a stage where we are making clear that this should not happen, and I’m relatively optimistic that we will be successful with our request in this case, but we will have to look at [it] and we have to be very, very cautious.”

The German chancellor did not provide further details as to what, exactly, such sanctions would entail.

In an earlier address to the German Parliament on March 2, Scholz had called on China not to send weapons to Russia to aid in its invasion of Ukraine and urged Beijing instead to exert pressure on Moscow to pull back its forces.

He also expressed his disappointment that China had refrained from condemning the Russian invasion during a United Nations General Assembly on Feb. 23.

China was among a handful of nations to vote against a resolution calling on Russian troops to immediately withdraw from Ukraine.

One day later, Beijing issued a so-called “peace plan” for Russia and Ukraine in the form of a paper titled “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis” in an apparent effort to portray itself as a mediator in the conflict.

China Calls for Dialogue, Negotiation in War

That plan states that the “sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld” and that “dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.”

The paper came shortly after Beijing pledged a deeper “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Russia last month during Chinese diplomat Wang Yi’s visit to the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also confirmed that Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping is also set to visit Moscow in the coming months.

Amid growing concerns from senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, that China could provide lethal military aid to Russia, Beijing has denied such reports.

“Adding fuel to the fire will only exacerbate tensions. Prolonging and expanding the conflict will only make ordinary people pay an even heftier price,” China’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dai Bing told the U.N. General Assembly on Feb. 23.

Despite reassurances from Beijing, China’s role in the Russia–Ukraine war was among the key topics that Scholz discussed with President Joe Biden during a meeting at the White House on March 3.

During that meeting, both leaders also committed to providing further assistance to Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion, and shortly after, the United States announced a new military aid package for Kyiv worth around $400 million.

The latest package includes artillery systems and munitions as well as testing and diagnostic equipment to aid vehicle maintenance and repair, as well as spare parts and other field equipment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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