Russia’s reported request to China for support in its invasion of Ukraine is a sign that “Russia is in trouble, Putin is having a hard time,” Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) told Epoch Times affiliate NTD in an interview on March 17.
It is not surprising that the Russian leader would turn to China for military and economic aid, he said, but Russian President Vladamir Putin’s move necessitates heightened caution on the part of the United States.
“We should be very, very vigilant, watchful, and make sure that we’re on top of things,” Chabot said, just a day before President Joe Biden’s widely anticipated video call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
The lawmaker said he hoped that Biden would tell Xi “to back off, and not to work with Putin, because I think it’s not in China’s best interest.”
During the two-hour video call on Friday, Biden told Xi that there would be “consequences” if China chose to materially support Russia, the White House said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later said that Biden did not receive any specific assurances that China would act one way or another. She also refused to outline specifics on what the consequences would entail, saying that Washington was still discussing this with Group of Seven allies.
While the sanctions imposed on Russia are some of the toughest on record, Chabot said that he and many of his colleagues would have been in favor of applying much stiffer sanctions on Russia even before the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Such a step might have made Putin think twice before proceeding with the attack.
But, for the time being, the powers arrayed against Russia need to watch and see what effect the sanctions have on the course of the conflict and Putin’s willingness to pursue it, the lawmaker believed.
It is a mistake to expect transparency from the Chinese regime regarding its intentions or its actions in the Ukraine crisis, the congressman said. Such deceptiveness is of a piece with Beijing’s conduct in other crises.
“Clearly, China is going to deny everything, as they always do,” Chabot said.
“We know that China did cover up the first [COVI-19] outbreak that they had, to the detriment of the rest of the world. I don’t think we would have seen nearly the number of deaths had they actually opened up with the rest of the world, but they covered it up. And we should expect them, in this case, to do something similar. You really just can’t trust the PRC [People’s Republic of China],” he added.
If Xi is contemplating action against Taiwan, Chabot said he hopes that Xi will look at the difficulty that Putin has experienced in the Ukraine invasion and understand that an invasion of the island would be even harder to pursue given the United States’ strong ties to democratic Taiwan.
“It’s a critical ally of ours in a critical region, and we need to stand with Taiwan,” Chabot said.
The Chinese regime views Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to unite it with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Chabot believes that if U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific, such as Australia and Japan, take strong stances against Beijing, the regime is less likely to attempt an invasion of Taiwan. But, all the same, the United States must be fully prepared for such a development, he said.
Original link : US Cannot Trust China Amid Ukraine Crisis: Rep. Steve Chabot