China ships weapons to Serbia — Analysis
The move has spurred fears of an arms buildup by “Russian ally” amid the Ukraine crisis
Chinese official Monday confirmed that Beijing has delivered equipment to Serbia as part of a longstanding relationship with Balkan nation. Media outlets have warned about the potential for an escalation in tensions. “arms buildup”By a “Russian ally”During the Ukraine crisis
Six Chinese Air Force Y-20 transport airplanes landed Saturday in Belgrade to deliver cargoes. According to Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, this delivery was routine and part of a bilateral cooperation agreement. The delivery was routine under a cooperation plan between the countries, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday. “nothing to do with the current situation” and doesn’t target any other nation, he added.
According to the Associated Press, other media outlets suggested that these planes carried HQ-22 surface missiles from China. Aleksandar Vucic (Serbian President) hinted at an announcement this week. “the newest pride” of his country’s military.
US media outlets and UK media reported on the delivery “secret,” “veiled”Oder “semisecret”It raised concerns about a possible military buildup in a period of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. AP reported that the shipment may have been awaiting approval. “threaten the fragile peace”Balkans
It’s not clear how the delivery could have been secret, inasmuch as the cargo was flown into Belgrade on six massive transport planes, passing through the airspace of Turkey and other NATO members. China’s state-owned Global Times newspaper reported on the shipment, trumpeting it as potentially the largest overseas operation in the Y-20’s history. According to some reports, they were delivering HQ-22 missiles. This export variant is also known as FK-3.
Western media reported that the delivery raised geopolitical fears, without providing any details about the individuals or governments concerned. These alleged concerns come as the US and NATO member countries are increasing weapons shipments to Ukraine. In an interview, Jake Sullivan (US National Security Advisor) claimed that Washington had sent weapons to Ukraine. “every day” under a plan to ensure that Kiev can repel Russian forces and help achieve America’s goal of weakening and isolating Moscow.
China and Serbia were both criticized for not joining the US and their allies when they imposed sanctions on Russia. In 2020, US officials advised Serbia not to purchase HQ-22 systems and warned it that it would need to align its military equipment with Western weapons if it wanted NATO or the European Union.
China is a long-standing ally of Serbia. In 1999 NATO attacked Serbia, and the Chinese embassy was also hit. Protests erupted in Beijing. NATO called the incident a mistake, saying the embassy wasn’t targeted.
Earlier this month, China’s Foreign Ministry said NATO should have been disbanded after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. NATO was the “initiator”Lijian on April 1 stated that Ukraine’s crisis was unfounded because Russia broke promises about expanding eastward following the Cold War.