China Rejects US Intel Leak Pointing To Covert Arms Transfers To Russia
China is again vowing that it won’t sell weapons to Russia, or either side of the war for that matter, after new accusations fueled by speculation over a leaked US intelligence document.
Earlier this week The Washington Post published analysis of a top secret intelligence summary dated to February 23 of this year, which purported to show that China approved the provision of lethal aid to Moscow amid its military operations in Ukraine.
China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang
If true it would confirm what have been months of White House accusations which Beijing has consistently and vehemently denied, also at a time that President Xi Jinping advanced his 12-point peace plan to promote ceasefire negotiations. But US official allegations have so far been limited to asserting that Beijing is merely mulling and discussing the possible provision of lethal aid, not that it’s already done so.
According to a description of the leaked intelligence document in The Washington Post:
The intercept, apparently obtained through U.S. eavesdropping on Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), was included in a top-secret summary, dated Feb. 23, of recent Ukraine- and Russia-related “products” compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It was among a number of previously unreported documents that The Washington Post obtained from a trove of images of classified files posted on a private server on the chat app Discord.
According to “signals intelligence,” the intelligence summary said, the SVR reported that China’s Central Military Commission had “approved the incremental provision” of weapons and wanted it kept secret. The report did not indicate the source of the SVR’s information.
On Friday China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang issued new statements on the controversy, explicitly denying arms sales to Russia.
“Regarding the export of military items, China adopts a prudent and responsible attitude,” Qin said. He issued the words on the occasion of a visit by his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.
“China will not provide weapons to relevant parties of the conflict, and manage and control the exports of dual-use items in accordance with laws and regulations,” he stressed. At the same time, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that a change in Taiwan’s status would potentially bring about the “horror scenario” of conflict for the whole world.
The Pentagon leaks reveal that US intel agencies have been worried that the Ukraine war may bring China and Russia closer together. It’s obvious that this has already happened but war enthusiasts deny it. pic.twitter.com/aQpI91grwY
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) April 12, 2023
Despite the intelligence leak, the Biden administration maintains that it doesn’t believe China has pulled the trigger yet: “We have not seen evidence that China has transferred weapons or provided lethal assistance to Russia. But we remain concerned and are continuing to monitor closely,” a senior administration official was quoted in The Washington Post as saying. “A senior defense official agreed with that assessment. Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss information about the top-secret document.”
Fri, 04/14/2023 – 18:40