China and Russia allies in the disinformation war? 3:43
Hong Kong (WABNEWS) — American and Chinese officials will meet in Rome on Monday for talks that experts say could have far-reaching consequences not only for the ongoing war in Ukraine, but for China’s role in the war. world and its relationship with the West.
The meeting, between China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and US national security adviser Jake Sullivan, comes at a time when concerns are growing in the West that Beijing is not only siding with Russia by not condemn its aggression in Ukraine, but that it can take further action to help its strategic partner.RELATED
A senior US official told WABNEWS on Sunday that Moscow has asked Beijing for military help in Ukraine, including drones. This aid, although it would be an important boost for Russia, would be a huge risk for China, which has so far tried to present itself as a neutral actor in the conflict. China has denied that Russia has asked for military equipment or other help to support its war in Ukraine.
Pointing to reports that Russia has asked China for military help, Richard N. Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said such an election would be a “defining moment” for China and the 21st century.
“Doing so (providing support) means that China would expose itself to significant sanctions and become a pariah; refusing would keep open the possibility of at least selective cooperation with the US and the West,” Haas said in a message on Twitter.
Russian tank fires on an apartment building in Ukraine 1:18
Russia has also asked China for economic support, according to a US official familiar with the matter. That request and the one for military support came after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the official said, declining to detail China’s reaction but saying Beijing had responded.
Sullivan told Dana Bash on WABNEWS’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the United States was “closely watching” to see if China provides any support to Russia.
“It is a concern of ours. And we have communicated to Beijing that we will not sit idly by or allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses resulting from economic sanctions,” Sullivan said.
The potential economic risk associated with supporting Russia is unlikely to go unnoticed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who is expected to secure a historic third term in power during the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party in Beijing this week. fall.
In such an important year, the Chinese government will be careful not to get embroiled in Western sanctions, which could deal a blow to its economy, at a time when Beijing has already set the lowest official target for economic growth in the last three decades. .
A group of leading US China scholars on Friday called on Washington to keep the door open for diplomacy with China and to “impress on Beijing that its long-term interests will not be better served by tying down a pariah” like Russia. , which is reviled by most of the Western world.
“Using diplomatic rapprochement with Beijing… the United States will be able to lay the groundwork for more effective pressure against China if Xi more openly supports China’s brutal aggression.” [el presidente de Rusia] Putin,” wrote the group, convened by the Asia Society’s Center on United States-China Relations and the 21st Century China Center at the University of California, San Diego.
Asked if Russia had asked China for military help, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday called “disinformation” claims that the United States has spread against China “with sinister intentions.”
“China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear, and we have been playing a constructive role in promoting the peace talks. It is imperative that all parties exercise restraint and de-escalate, rather than throw more fuel to the fire; it is important to push for a diplomatic solution, instead of further escalating the situation,” Zhao told a regular news conference.
A key meeting between the US and China
Monday’s meeting between Yang and Sullivan is seen by both sides as a further step towards better communication between Xi and US President Joe Biden at their summit late last year.
The two sides will discuss “ongoing efforts to manage competition between our two countries” as well as “the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on regional and global security,” the US National Security Council spokeswoman said. USA Emily Horne in a statement on Sunday.
Zhao, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, did not mention Russia or Ukraine in a statement about the meeting posted online on Sunday, but said the two sides would “exchange views on China-U.S. relations and on international and regional issues of common interest”.
Russian soldier fires into the air over the heads of protesters in Kherson 1:06
The “key issue” of the meeting would be to put into practice the “important consensus” reached by Xi and Biden at their virtual summit, according to Zhao, adding that the two sides have been coordinating the meeting since late last year.
Sullivan and Yang, who is director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, last met in Zurich in October for a meeting that preceded the Xi-Biden video summit.
That summit was seen as an attempt to readjust the tone of relations between the two world powers, and became an opportunity for both parties to express their interest in reinforcing communication to better manage a relationship that has been riddled with tensions on China’s trade, technology and human rights record.
But some four months later, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine became a major international issue, reinforcing coordination and solidarity between the United States and its allies and exposing China’s divergent approach.
China tried to present itself as a neutral party, often stressing that the “legitimate security concerns of all countries” must be addressed, but its decision not to go along with the series of sanctions imposed by the US and its allies against Russia, and their amplification of disinformation about Russia, they risk placing it in an even more conflictive position with the West.
WABNEWS’s Sam Fossum, Kaitlan Collins, Jim Sciutto and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.