U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday raised concerns about China’s alignment with Russia in a seven-hour meeting with Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi as Washington warned of the isolation and penalties Beijing will face if it helps Moscow in its invasion of Ukraine.
The meeting took place in Rome as Washington told allies in NATO and several Asian countries that China had signaled its willingness to provide military and economic aid to Russia to support its war, two U.S. officials said.
The U.S. message, sent in a diplomatic cable, also noted China was expected to deny those plans, said one of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“It’s real, it’s consequential, and it’s really alarming,” the second U.S. official said, although the U.S. government offered no public evidence to back its assertions of China’s willingness to provide such aid to Russia.
After talks ended, the White House issued a short statement, saying Sullivan raised a “range of issues in U.S.-China relations, with substantial discussion of Russia’s war against Ukraine.”
“We have deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia at this time, and the national security adviser was direct about those concerns and the potential implications and consequences of certain actions,” a senior administration official told reporters.
Sullivan described to Yang “the unity of the United States and its allies and partners … in bringing costs on Russia for its actions,” this official added.