We really are on the brink of World War III. I know we sort of say it here and there, but it seriously is getting closer and closer. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently warned that if China chose to side with Russia in a conflict against Ukraine, it could lead to the risk of World War III.
During an interview with German newspaper Die Welt on Monday, Zelenskyy expressed his hope that China would make a “pragmatic assessment” of the situation and understand the consequences of siding with Russia. He also urged them not to do it for the sake of avoiding further conflict.
“For us, it is important that China does not support the Russian Federation in this war,” the Ukrainian president said. “In fact, I would like it to be on our side. At the moment, however, I don’t think it’s possible.”
“Because if China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war, and I do think that China is aware of that,” Zelenskyy threatened.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken weighed in on the matter during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, warning China that it would have “serious consequences in our relationship” should they choose to provide lethal support to Russia. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated that the U.S. was not “in a position to make demands of China”.
On Monday, Joe Biden also visited Kyiv and met with Zelenskyy at Mariinsky Palace, where he pledged another 500 million US dollars worth of weapons paid for by American taxpayers. When addressing those gathered after their meeting, Biden declared that one year later Ukraine stands strong and democracy still prevails, before adding: “The Americans stand with you and the world stands with you."
Biden notably failed to mention his failure to visit East Palestine in Ohio - an area affected by recent disasters - despite being in Kyiv and having traveled extensively. Some have deemed this move as insensitive and inappropriate given the gravity of the situation there at present time.
It remains to be seen whether China will listen to Zelenskyy’s plea and stay away from siding with Russia in order to avoid the potential of a World War III. As always, only time will tell.
Until then, all eyes are on China as the situation continues to unfold. What an interesting way for Biden's first international trip as president to start off! Let's see how this one plays out.