U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the 2023 Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday. Photo by Stephan Goerlich MSC/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday warned Chinese officials during a meeting Saturday that there will be "consequences" if Beijing aids Russia in its war in Ukraine.
Blinken met with Wang Yi, the director of the Chinese Communist Party's Foreign Affairs Office, on the margins of the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Price said that, during the meeting, Blinken "warned about the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia or assistance with systemic sanctions evasion."
Blinken also told Wang that the recent incursion of a high-altitude surveillance balloon over the United States was an "unacceptable violation of U.S. sovereignty and international law" that must never happen again.
Speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press" after the meeting, Blinken added that Chinese officials offered "no apology" for the spy balloon incident.
"But what I can also tell you is this was an opportunity to speak very clearly and very directly about the fact that China sent a surveillance balloon over our territory, violating our sovereignty, violating international law," Blinken said.
"And I told him quite simply that that was unacceptable and can never happen again."
Regarding Russia, Blinken told NBC that the United States remains "very concerned" that China is considering providing Russia with "lethal support" in its war in Ukraine.
"The Secretary reiterated President Biden's statements that the United States will compete and will unapologetically stand up for our values and interests, but that we do not want conflict with the PRC and are not looking for a new Cold War," Price said in his statement.
"The Secretary underscored the importance of maintaining diplomatic dialogue and open lines of communication at all times."