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Russia has asked China for military equipment since the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, prompting concern in the White House that Beijing may undermine Western efforts to assist Ukrainian forces in defending their country, according to US officials.
He described the current situation in Ukraine as “disturbing,” adding, “We support and encourage all efforts that are conducive to a peaceful resolution of the crisis.”
Despite the difficult situation, Russia and Ukraine should make every effort to continue negotiations in order to achieve a peaceful outcome.”
Washington believes China was aware that Russia was planning some sort of action in Ukraine prior to the invasion, though Beijing may not have realised the full scope of what was planned.
Washington was keeping a close eye on whether or not Beijing provided economic or material support to Russia, and warned that if this occurred, there would be consequences.
Washington has insinuated to Beijing, privately, that there will be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them.
According to a senior Biden administration official, the Ukraine war and its impact on regional and global security will be a “significant topic” during Sullivan’s meeting with Yang, given China’s efforts to align “with Russia to advance their own vision of the world order.”
The meeting, which had been planned for some time, is part of a larger effort by Washington and Beijing to keep open channels of communication open and manage competition between the world’s two largest economies, according to the official.
The source added, speaking on the condition of anonymity, that no specific outcomes were expected.
As unappealing as the idea may be to some in the West, it is time to offer the Russian leader an exit with China’s assistance.
The US announced on Saturday that it would send up to $US200 million ($NZ293 million) in additional weapons to Ukrainian forces as they try to defend themselves against Russian shelling.
Washington and its allies have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia, including a ban on its energy imports, while also providing billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Individually and collectively, they have urged China, the Gulf states, and others who have failed to condemn Russia’s invasion to join them in isolating Russia from the global economy.
Although Chinese President Xi Jinping last week called for “maximum restraint” in Ukraine after a virtual meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, Beijing has refused to call Russia’s actions an invasion.
Xi also expressed concern about the impact of sanctions on global finance, energy supplies, transportation, and supply chains, as evidence mounts that Western sanctions are restricting China’s ability to purchase Russian oil.
In 2020, trade accounted for roughly 46 percent of Russia’s GDP, with much of it going to China, the country’s largest export destination.