Zelensky raised the alarm in an interview with German daily Die Welt on Monday after China said the United States was in no position to make demands following US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s warning against Beijing providing weapons to Russia in the war.
"For us, it is important that China does not support the Russian Federation in this war. In fact, I would like it to be on our side. At the moment, however, I don't think it's possible,” Zelensky told the German paper.
"But I do see an opportunity for China to make a pragmatic assessment of what is happening here," he said. "Because if China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war, and I do think that China is aware of that."
Blinken on Saturday warned his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi of consequences should China provide material support to Russia's military campaign in Ukraine, saying Washington was concerned Beijing was “considering providing lethal support” to Moscow ranging "from ammunition to the weapons themselves.”
Speaking at the 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in the German capital via video link on Friday, Zelensky called on the United States and its European allies to expedite the delivery of military weapons and equipment to Ukraine despite Russia’s repeated warnings that the flow of Western arms would only escalate tensions and protract the conflict in the former Soviet republic.
The Ukrainian president urged Kiev’s allies to speed up sending weapons to “defeat” Russia over its year-long military operation and warned global leaders that dithering and delays would threaten their security.
Russia launched "a special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, over the perceived threat of the ex-Soviet republic joining NATO. Since then, the United States and Ukraine's other allies have sent Kiev tens of billions of dollars' worth of weapons, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles, tanks, and communication systems.
Western countries have also imposed a slew of economic sanctions on Moscow. The Kremlin has said the sanctions and the Western military assistance will only prolong the war.
Beijing slams 'false' US claims that China may arm Russia
Reacting to US accusations, Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed Washington's "false" claims that Beijing is considering arming Russia in its war with Ukraine.
"It is the United States and not China that is endlessly shipping weapons to the battlefield," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a statement. "We urge the United States to earnestly reflect on its own actions, and do more to alleviate the situation, promote peace and dialogue, and stop shifting blame and spreading false information."
Blinken's accusations came as US-China relations were further strained after Washington shot down earlier in the month what it said was a Chinese “spy” balloon.
There have been concerns China is deepening ties with Russia despite the conflict, but Beijing says it is playing a constructive role and stands firmly on the side of dialogue.
"We do not accept the United States' finger-pointing on China-Russia relations, let alone coercion and pressure," Wang said. "China's direction on the Ukraine issue can be summed up in one phrase, which is urging peace and promoting dialogue."
Source: Press TV#China #Ukraine #Zelensky 23-02-20
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