The U.S. has alleged via a diplomatic cable to NATO allies and some Asian countries that China is prepared to provide military and economic support to Russia during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
An anonymous U.S. official
privy to the message further stated that China would likely deny such accusations.
“It’s real, it’s consequential and it’s really alarming,” a separate official was quoted as saying.
The claim comes as U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome in a seven-hour meeting on Monday. During the security talks, Sullivan expressed the U.S. government’s concerns about the close ties between the Chinese and the Russian governments.
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According to a short statement released by the White House, Sullivan raised a “range of issues in U.S.-China relations, with substantial discussion of Russia’s war against Ukraine.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price told the press that the U.S. would be “watching closely” to see if Russia receives support from China or other nations.
Russia has denied having asked for foreign support
, stating that its own military force would be enough to achieve its objectives in Ukraine. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian has also called reports that Russia was seeking military equipment from China “disinformation.”
Amid ongoing sanctions against Russia, U.S. and other international officials have warned that aligning with Russia could also result in new sanctions.