U.S. President Joe Biden said that despite signs that China is considering stepping up its military support for Russia, the country hasn't so far moved to do so, CNN reported.
“Doesn't mean they won't, but they haven't yet,” Biden said during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada following a speech alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Canadian parliament on March 24. “And if anything's happened, the West has coalesced significantly more," he added.
U.S. officials have sounded the alarm in recent months that China is considering sending lethal aid to Russia for its war against Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director Bill Burns have both publicly warned China against sending aid that could help Russia in Ukraine.
Politico reported on March 16 that trade and customs data from between June and December 2022 showed that Chinese companies had exported 1,000 assault rifles and other equipment, such as drone parts and body armor, to Russian entities, but that there was no explicit evidence the shipments were intended for Russian troops in Ukraine.
During a visit by Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Russia on March 20-22, the two countries signed a joint statement on deepening partnership and strategic cooperation on March 21, which stressed that Russian–Chinese relations are comprehensive, strategic, and "at the highest level in history."
The Institute for the Study of War, a D.C.-based think tank, said that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, however, has been unable to secure the no-limits bilateral partnership with China the two countries declared shortly before Russia's full-scale invasion began on Feb. 24, 2022.