U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned during talks with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi on March 14 that Beijing will face “consequences” if it provides Russia with military and other assistance over its invasion of Ukraine, U.S. officials said.
The meeting, which took place in Rome, was “intense” and lasted for seven hours, a senior U.S. official said, adding Sullivan also raised such issues as North Korea’s provocative missile tests and Beijing’s pressure on Taiwan.
Concern has been growing inside the U.S. government about China’s alignment with Russia as the war in Ukraine entered its third week and Moscow faced severe economic sanctions imposed by the West.
Two administration officials said the U.S. had determined that China had signaled to Russia that it would be willing to provide both military support for the campaign in Ukraine and financial backing to help stave off the impact of sanctions. The officials said that assessment had been relayed to Western and Asian allies and partners.
Russia, however, denied it needed China’s help.
“No, Russia has its own potential to continue the operation, which, as we have said, is unfolding in accordance with the plan and will be completed on time and in full,” said Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, on March 14. (Kyodo, AP)