The Russian-Chinese rapprochement resembles "a marriage of convenience" rather than "conviction", said Wednesday the head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, according to whom Beijing has not yet delivered lethal weapons to Moscow in full war in Ukraine.
"Partly because they have a very different view of the world from ours, they entered into a marriage of convenience. I'm not sure it was of conviction," said the secretary of state who was heard by the commission. of Foreign Affairs of the United States Senate.
"Russia is clearly the junior partner in this relationship," he added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited for a two-day trip to Russia focused on strengthening ties with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.
During this visit, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping on Tuesday praised the entry into a "new era" of their "special" relationship with the West, the Russian president cautiously supporting the Chinese plan to settle the conflict in Ukraine.
"I'm not sure that Russia or Putin want world order, rather world disorder," he said.
Before another parliamentary committee on Wednesday morning, the secretary of state had indicated that China had not yet "crossed the line" consisting of delivering lethal weapons to Russia.
"To date, we haven't seen them cross that line," he said.
For several weeks, American diplomacy has exerted intense diplomatic pressure on China to prevent it from delivering important military equipment to Moscow, mired in the conflict in Ukraine.
In mid-February, Washington announced that China was considering such an option, and there were reports of small shipments being sent by Chinese companies to Moscow.
Mr. Blinken once again brushed aside Chinese peace proposals that Washington believes would only militarily benefit Russia.
"I think the diplomatic, political, and to some extent material support (from China) to Russia is of course against our interest in seeing this war end," Blinken told Congress.
The Secretary of State also encouraged any country that receives Vladimir Putin on its soil to take the opportunity to extradite him, following the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“I think those who are members of the Court and who have obligations must fulfill those obligations,” he said, answering the question of whether the United States would arrest Mr. Putin if he went to American soil. The United States is not a member of the ICC.
And a law dating back to 2002 in principle prevents the US government from formally assisting the Court.
"I don't think he plans to come here anytime soon," Blinken added, declining to say what the United States would do in that case.
Putin's last visit to the United States was in 2015 when he attended the UN General Assembly.
Russia is part of the Apec forum which will hold a summit in November in San Francisco, but it is unlikely that the United States will invite the Russian president.
22/03/2023 23:42:00 - Washington (AFP) - © 2023 AFP