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CIA director says China is considering providing lethal weapons to Russia

Saturday, 25 February 2023, 23:47
CIA director says China is considering providing lethal weapons to Russia

William Burns, Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, has confirmed that the Chinese government is considering providing Russia with lethal weapons for the war against Ukraine, although a final decision has yet to be made.

Source: William Burns in an interview with CBS News

Quote from Burns: "We're confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment [to Russia]."


Details: Burns emphasised that China has not yet made the decision to transfer lethal aid to Russia, and shed light on the logic behind the Biden administration's decision to make this intelligence public.

"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," Burns said. "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."

Burns noted that Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the ensuing worldwide response, has been of particular interest to Xi. 


"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," said Burns. "I think, in many ways, he's been unsettled and sobered by what he's seen." 


  • On Friday, 24 February, President Joe Biden said the US "would respond" if China were to supply Russia with lethal weapons in its war against Ukraine.
  • On Sunday, 19 February, Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State, confirmed media reports about China discussing the possibility of providing Russia with lethal military aid that could be directed to support aggression against Ukraine.
  • According to earlier reports, the Biden administration expressed concern to Beijing over evidence that Chinese companies were selling non-lethal equipment to Russia for use in Ukraine, including bulletproof vests and helmets.

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