The United States will try to persuade China not to supply Russia with weapons at a high-level meeting in Rome that the White House sees as crucial not only to the war in Russia. Ukraine But also for the future of the global balance of power.
Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, will meet his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in the Italian capital amid reports that Russia It asked China for weapons to bolster its faltering invasion of Ukraine.
Sullivan will point out that the United States briefed Beijing on Vladimir Putin’s intentions months before the invasion, but the Chinese leadership ignored those warnings, mistakenly believing Putin was cheating to gain influence, according to sources familiar with the plans for the Rome meeting. Sullivan will also argue if China Supplying arms to Moscow would be another historical mistake and a turning point in world politics.
The Biden White House is eager to prevent the Ukraine war, which further entrenches the world’s division into two opposing blocs.
Sullivan and Yang will also follow up on agreements that Joe Biden and Xi Jinping struck at a virtual summit in November to improve crisis communications between the two nuclear powers.
“We’re also closely watching to see to what extent China actually provides any form of support – material support or economic support – to Russia,” Sullivan He told CNN. “It is a source of concern to us. We have informed Beijing that we will not stand idly by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from economic sanctions.”
Sullivan said the United States made it clear to Beijing that there would be “absolute consequences” for “widespread” efforts to help Russia evade sanctions.
Russia has also asked China for economic help as it faces severe Western sanctions, but Sullivan told CNN that the US was “communicating directly, particularly with Beijing that there will certainly be consequences” if China helps Russia evade sanctions.
The financial timesAnd the The New York Times And the Washington Post On Sunday, it reported on the Russian demand for weapons, amid allegations from US officials that the Russian military was running out of certain types of weapons.
A spokesman for the US Embassy in Washington, Liu Bingyu, told CNN he had “never heard of” Russian arms requests.
“The current situation in Ukraine is indeed worrying,” he said in a statement. “The top priority now is to prevent the tense situation from escalating or even spiraling out of control.”
“The relationship between the United States and China appears to be moving toward a very important junction,” said Ryan Haas, former China director at the US National Security Council, He said on Twitter. If China were to contribute materially to the Russian war machine in Ukraine by providing materiel or a major backfill, China’s actions would hasten the division of the world in the direction of the opposing blocs.
“It would be wise for the United States to speak directly and privately with the Chinese at an official level now to clarify the lasting strategic ramifications of China’s decisions at this moment.”
China has not yet condemned the Russian invasion or the mass killing of civilians in the bombing of Ukrainian cities, and has abstained from voting on resolutions denouncing the attack on the Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly. Shi called last week For “maximum restraint” in Ukraine after a virtual meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, he said he was “pained to see the tongues of war burning in Europe.”
Xi also expressed concern about the impact of sanctions on the global economy and the restrictions imposed by Western sanctions on China’s ability to buy Russian oil.
Haas, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said he did not expect to see any immediate breakthroughs at the Rome meeting.
“The results may take weeks or more to focus on,” he said. “Neither side is likely to give satisfaction to the others. Results may need to be measured in degrees, not binaries between black and white.”
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