U.S. Will Punish China if It Gives Military Aid to Russia, Blinken Says

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Thursday that the United States would punish China if President Xi Jinping chose to give military aid to Russia for the war in Ukraine, where Russian forces have killed thousands of civilians.

“We’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine,” Mr. Blinken said at a news conference in Washington. “President Biden will be speaking to President Xi tomorrow and will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs.”

Mr. Blinken is the most senior U.S. official to explicitly warn China against giving military aid to Russia. He said that because of China’s ties to Russia, it had a special responsibility to try to persuade President Vladimir V. Putin to end his war.

But “it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression, while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter,” Mr. Blinken said.