American and Chinese officials met to discuss China’s support for Russia in its invasion of Ukraine Monday. The meeting followed reports that Russia had asked for Chinese military equipment and help to avoid Western economic measures.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with China’s senior diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome. He said the United States was concerned that China is using the war to advance its own interest.
Before the meeting, Sullivan warned China to avoid helping Russia overcome the effects of the international sanctions.
“We will not allow that to go forward,” he said.
The possibility of China offering Russia financial help is one of several concerns for President Joe Biden. A U.S. official said that Russia had also requested Chinese military equipment to continue its war with Ukraine.
Russia has seen large losses of tanks, helicopters and other equipment since the start of the war more than two weeks ago. The smaller Ukraine army is equipped with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.
Russia on Monday 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. He is President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.
The Biden administration is also accusing China of spreading Russian disinformation. There is fear that the disinformation could be used to justify a possible Russian attack using chemical or biological weapons.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put China in a difficult position with two of its biggest trading partners: the U.S. and the European Union. China needs those markets. Yet it also has shown support for Russia saying the countries share a friendship with “no limits.”
Before the talks, Sullivan said he would be looking for limits in what China will do for Russia.
“What I can tell you is we are communicating directly and privately to Beijing that there absolutely will be consequences" if China helps Russia get past the sanctions,” he said. He was speaking on American television.
On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said “The U.S. has been spreading disinformation targeting China recently over the Ukraine issue. It is malicious.”
Zhao also said that all parties should “cool down.”
I’m Susan Shand.
The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English.
Words in This Story
advance - v. to move forward
sanctions - n. an action that is taken or an order that is given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country, by not allowing economic aid for that country
allow - v. permit
potential – n. capable of becoming real
accordance – n. n a way that agrees with or follows
consequence – n. something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions
malicious – adj. having or showing a desire to cause harm to another person
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