The US official said Russia had asked China to use military equipment in its invasion of Ukraine, a request that had increased tensions over the ongoing war ahead of a meeting between senior US and Chinese officials in Rome.
Prior to Monday’s NSA White House talks, Jake Sullivan strongly warned China to refrain from helping Russia avoid sanctions from global sanctions that have hurt Russia’s economy.
“We won’t let it continue,” he said.
The White House said talks in the Italian capital would focus on the direct impact of the Russian war against Ukraine on regional and global security.
The US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said in recent days that Russia was seeking support from China – including military equipment – to continue the ongoing war in Ukraine. The official did not provide details of the scope of the request. The Financial Times and The Washington Post reported on the request for the first time.
But Beijing on Monday accused Washington of spreading “misinformation” about China’s role in the war in Ukraine.
Without a direct response to US media reports of a Russian request for aid from Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “The US is spreading misinformation aimed at China on this issue. In Ukraine with malicious intent.”
Einar Tangen, a senior international worker at the Taihe Institute, a think tank based in China, said that al-Jazeera Beijing was not interested in providing military support.
“China has already said that it is clear that it is against the West to place more weapons and ammunition on Ukraine because it sees oil pouring into the fire. “It would be hypocritical if they started helping Russia,” Tangen said.
“From an economic point of view, nothing has changed,” he said. “From China’s point of view, the United States is essentially a tragedy [and] the Russians are also guilty of invading another country. But if you get there, the two wrongs do not bring any justice,” Tangen added, saying China was pushing for a diplomatic solution. to the crisis.
The Kremlin also denied seeking military help from China. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia had not asked China for military assistance and had enough military force to achieve all its goals in Ukraine.
Lifeline against Russian sanctions not “allowed”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts China in a dangerous position vis-à-vis its two largest trading partners: the United States and the European Union. China needs access to markets, although it has also shown support for Moscow, which has teamed up with Russia to declare a “borderless” friendship.
In his talks with Chinese Foreign Policy Adviser Yang Jiechi, Sullivan will certainly try to push the boundaries of what Beijing can do for Moscow.
“I will not sit here in public and threaten,” he told CNN on Sunday. “But what I will tell you directly and privately is that we are dealing with Beijing with absolute consequences,” if China helps Russia “recover” its sanctions losses.
“We will not allow this to continue, and we will not allow Russia to have a lifeline of these economic sanctions from any country anywhere in the world,” Sullivan said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian did not name Ukraine in a short note to the talks, saying that “the key topic of the meeting is the implementation of a key consensus reached by China and American heads at their virtual summit last November. “.
“They will exchange views on China-US relations and international and regional issues, which are often worrying,” Chao said in comments posted on the ministry’s website on Sunday.