US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday met with Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi and raised concern over China’s involvement in the Russian Ukraine war. Sullivan met the Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi in Rome, Italy. During the seven-hour meeting, Sullivan raised concerns about China’s alignment with Russia as Washington warned of the isolation and penalties Beijing will face if it helps Moscow in its invasion of Ukraine.
The White House on Monday confirmed the meeting between US NSA Jake Sullivan and Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi. Sharing information about the meeting, Washington said that Sullivan raised concerns about China’s alignment with Russia in the ongoing war. “Their meeting followed up on the November 15, 2021 virtual meeting between President Biden and President Xi,” the White House tweeted following the meeting. “Mr Sullivan raised a range of issues in US-China relations, with substantial discussion of Russia’s war against Ukraine. They also underscored the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and China,” it said.
.@JakeSullivan46 met today with Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi in Rome, Italy. Their meeting followed up on the November 15, 2021 virtual meeting between President Biden and President Xi. — The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 14, 2022
Ahead of the meeting, Washington had told allies in NATO and several Asian countries that China had signalled its willingness to provide military and economic aid to Russia amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The meeting also followed the United States’ claims that China was aware of Russia’s plan to invade Ukraine from beforehand. In an interview with a leading media group, Jake Sullivan had said that China knew that Russia was planning ‘something’ before the invasion happened, though “may not have understood the full extent of it.”
China question sanctions
Taking serious cognizance of the US’ claims on Monday, China said that any attempt to smear the country’s efforts, destroy its intention or simply slander it is neither ethical nor responsible. “Our stance is clear,” the Chinese official said in retaliation. The Xi-Jinping led country has time and again reiterated that it has a ‘neutral stance’ on the whole issue but opposed the sanctions on Russia for Ukraine’s invasion.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement ‘firmly opposed’ the package of sanctions and called it ‘without any basis’ in the International law. “Willfully wielding the stick of sanctions cannot bring peace and security, but will only affect the economy & people’s livelihood, lead to a lose-lose situation and aggravate division & confrontation,” the spokesperson said, adding that China and Russia have good energy cooperation and will continue to conduct normal trade cooperation including on oil and gas in the spirit of ‘mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit’.