(USNewsMag.com) – As the war drags on between Russia and Ukraine, there are concerns other countries might get involved – particularly China. A recent transaction between China and a Russian ally is causing some concern among US lawmakers and diplomats.
On Monday, April 11, Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, told the press it had delivered anti-aircraft missile systems to Serbia. He said the delivery was part of the two nations’ annual cooperation plan. Six Chinese Air Force Y-20 transport planes reportedly landed at a civilian airport in Belgrade on Saturday.
A sophisticated Chinese anti-aircraft system was delivered to Russian ally Serbia in a veiled operation this weekend, amid Western concerns that an arms buildup in the Balkans during the war in Ukraine could threaten the fragile peace in the region. https://t.co/mzXvjIkXSW
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 10, 2022
The Daily Mail reported the delivery contained HQ-22 surface-to-air missile systems. The weapons system has been compared to the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles or the American Patriot system. However, the Chinese missiles are less advanced and have a shorter range than the Russian weapons. China and Serbia agreed to the arms deal despite a warning from the US government in 2020.
Zhao said the arms deal doesn’t have anything to “do with the current situation” and claimed no third-parties are involved. But the Russian factor is only one problem, there’s a concern that arming Serbia could lead to an attack on other nations, like Kosovo.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said he plans to present “the newest pride” of the Serbian military this week.
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