Report: U.S. tells allies China may be open to giving Russia military support
The U.S. has told allies in Europe and Asia that China has signaled a willingness to provide Russia military support in its ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times reported Monday.
Why it matters: Russia is believed to have asked China for equipment and other assistance as reports indicate the Russian forces may be running low on weaponry.
- While China has said it respects the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries," it has criticized Western sanctions of Russia and amplified pro-Putin talking points in its local media.
The big picture: The messages, sent by the State Department, did not specify whether China had indicated that it would begin supporting Russia militarily in the future or whether it is already doing so, per the Financial Times.
- They also did not indicate when exactly China had signaled its openness to providing Russia with military assistance, according to the report.
- During a press briefing later Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that China would face consequences if it chose to provide Russia with military support and that "this is obviously an area we're watching closely."
The State Department declined to comment.
Worth noting: National security adviser Jake Sullivan met with senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday. During their meeting Sullivan "raised a range of issues in U.S.-China relations, with substantial discussion of Russia’s war against Ukraine," per a White House readout.
- During their meeting Sullivan shared “deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia” and warned of the “potential consequences of certain actions,” a senior administration official said on a call with reporters Monday.