China is considering sending lethal equipment to Russia to aid in its war with Ukraine, the CIA chief said Sunday.
“We’re confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment,” said CIA Director William Burns in an interview with CBS’ Face The Nation public affairs program.
“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,” said Burns, adding it is important for Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden “to make very clear what the consequences of that would be to deter it, because it would be a very risky and unwise bet.”
Asked why would Beijing risk its relations with the US and Europe, Burns said “It’s a good question, and that’s why I hope very much that they don’t.”
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday also said there would be “real costs” for China if it provides lethal weapons to Russia.
“From our perspective, actually, this war presents real complications for Beijing. And Beijing will have to make its own decisions about how it proceeds, whether it provides military assistance,” said Sullivan on CNN’s State of the Union program.
“But, if it goes down that road, it will come at real costs to China. And I think China’s leaders are weighing that as they make their decisions,” he added.
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