The United States would have warned its allies in Europe and Asia that China has expressed its willingness to provide military support to Russia in the invasion of Ukraine, according to reports The Financial Times and the agency Reuters.
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The message, sent via diplomatic cable by the State Department from Washington to governments in Europe and Asia, also said that China was expected to deny such plans, according to an official source cited by Reuters who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The United States has warned that there will be “consequences” for China if it offers help to Russia and pointed out that Beijing “can do more than any other country” to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This was indicated in a press conference by the State Department spokesman, Ned Price, when commenting on this information, denied by China and Russia.
“We have been very clear, both privately and publicly with Beijing, that there will be consequences for offering such support,” Price said.
On the other hand, Price recognized the great influence that China has over Russia, due to its “special” relationship and stressed that for this reason, Beijing “can do more than any other country” to put an end to “senseless violence”. triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to the first information about it published this weekend in US media, Russia would have asked China for military support, economic assistance, even drones to continue the invasion of Ukraine. If this support were to occur, it would mean a major change in the international geopolitical landscape that emerged from this war.
China and Russia deny it
Through a statement quoted by CNN, the spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu, has denied said request saying that “he had never heard anything about it” and has expressed concern about the “situation in Ukraine”. Liu said that “the priority now is to prevent the situation from escalating or getting out of control. China asks to exercise the utmost restraint and prevent a massive humanitarian crisis.”
Russia has also denied this information, according to the words of the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, collected by Russian agencies.
At a press conference in Moscow, Peskov was asked to comment on information published in US media indicating that Russia had asked China for military assistance, to which the spokesman replied with a resounding “no”, according to the sources. .
Eight hour meeting in Rome
In the midst of this information, the US Government’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and the director of the Office of the Chinese Foreign Affairs Commission, Yang Jiechi, met this Monday in Rome “to keep an open line of communication” between the two countries after the Russian invasion of Ukraine amid suspicions about possible military aid from China to Russia.
The meeting took place in an armored hotel in the Italian capital, lasted more than eight hours – with an hour and a half break for lunch – behind closed doors and there were no statements or final press conference.
After the meeting, the White House issued a statement in which, without much detail, it explained that both parties stressed the importance of keeping “the lines of communication open” between the two powers.
On the US side they were very clear on Sunday. “We are informing Beijing directly, in private, that there will absolutely be consequences if Russia is helped in its efforts to evade large-scale sanctions or supported to counter them,” Sullivan said Sunday on CNN. “We will not allow that to go ahead and any country anywhere in the world to give Russia a lifeline from economic sanctions,” added Sullivan, who made no reference to the request for military aid from China. Representatives from the US and Chinese governments will also discuss the efforts currently underway to manage competition between the two countries.