Cardin warns US can sanction China for helping Russian war

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) on Sunday warned that the U.S. could sanction China if it moves to provide lethal aid to Russia in its war on Ukraine as some officials have suggested in recent days.

“China needs to know there will be consequences. So, we’ve isolated Russia economically. We can do the same thing in regards to sanctions against China,” Cardin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“China needs to understand they need to be on the right side of history here. And an attack on the sovereignty of an independent state, what Russia has done as a war of aggression and China should be with us in the overwhelming majority of the world to speak out.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week warned that China is considering sending lethal aid Russia’s way, potentially including ammunition and weapons as Russia readies a renewed counteroffensive.

On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly voted to adopt a resolution calling for the Russian military to withdraw from Ukraine, with China abstaining.

“The vote in the United States Security Council — General Assembly indicated the wide understanding of who is responsible for this war. China sat on the sidelines on that vote. That was wrong. But clearly, they should be on the right side of history,” Cardin said Sunday.

White House officials have so far declined to go into specifics on how the U.S. would respond if China moved to provide the lethal aid, but have said the U.S. has communicated warnings to Beijing.

President Biden on Friday underscored that there’s no evidence “so far” that China is siding with Russia, but said he spoke about the matter with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“I had a long conversation with Xi about this in the summer. And I said, ‘Look, this is not a threat. It’s just a statement. When, in fact, Europeans saw what was happening, and Americans saw what’s happening in Russia — in Europe, guess what? Six hundred corporations pulled out. They left. They didn’t want to be associated,’” Biden said.

“I said, ‘You told me that the future of China rests on investment from the Western world. And that matters.’ I said, ‘I’d just keep on eye that.’ There’s no evidence he’s done it yet.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.