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Blinken says he warned China against giving Russia 'lethal support,' sending future balloons

The "lethal support" would mostly entail weapons, Blinken said.

Published: February 19, 2023 10:29am

Updated: February 19, 2023 4:35pm

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he warned his Chinese counterpart against providing Russia with "lethal support" in the invasion of Ukraine and he made it very clear that China must never violate U.S. airspace again. 

Blinken told CBS News' "Face the Nation" in an interview aired Sunday that he sent a strong message to Chinese Communist Party Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"I made very clear to him that China sending a surveillance balloon over the United States, in violation of our sovereignty, in violation of international law, was unacceptable, and must never happen again," Blinken said he told Wang after the U.S. military shot down four suspicious aerial objects, one of which was connected to a Chinese surveillance program. 

Blinken also talked about concerns he has about China's close allyship with Russia nearly one year after the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine.

China is already providing "non-lethal support to Russia for use in Ukraine," Blinken said. "The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they're considering providing lethal support, and we've made very clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship."

The "lethal support" would mostly entail weapons, Blinken said.

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