China’s state-run media is signaling that Beijing will continue to side with Russia over the war in Ukraine, after seven hours of “intense” talks between U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan and Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome on March 14.
The two sides discussed a number of issues, including Taiwan and North Korea, as well as a “substantial discussion” on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A senior administration official told reporters after the meeting that the talks were intense due to the “gravity of the moment” amid efforts to end the fighting in Ukraine.
They also mentioned that Sullivan had also expressed concerns to his Chinese counterpart about the emerging Sino-Russian alliance.
“We do have deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia at this time, and the National Security Advisor was direct about those concerns and the potential implications and consequences of certain actions,” the senior administration official said.
Shortly before the meeting, Reuters and the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that Russia had requested military assistance and financial aid for its war from Russia, and the Chinese regime had signaled willingness to comply with the request.
When asked about the reports, the senior administration official declined to comment. Both China and Russia have denied the allegations.
During a separate briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said China would face “significant consequences” if it aids Russia with its war on Ukraine.
“I’m not going to get into specific consequences,” Psaki said. “I think what we have conveyed and what was conveyed by our National Security Advisor in this meeting is that should they provide military or other assistance that, of course, violates sanctions or supports the war effort, that there will be significant consequences.”
The Chinese readout of the Rome meeting did not mention the U.S.’s concerns about China providing help to its northern neighbor. However, it did say that Yang warned the United States not to “distort and discredit China’s position” on Ukraine through “false information.”
Yang’s warning has become a part of an editorial published by China’s hawkish state-run media Global Times on March 15, signaling China’s reluctance to work with Washington over the Ukraine crisis.
The article, titled “U.S. cannot expect China to cooperate under its suppression,” said the reports on possible Chinese aid to Russia were an “old U.S. diplomatic tactic” to “threaten Beijing.”
“The U.S. is the instigator of the Ukraine crisis,” the article stated. “It wants China to dance to its tune.”
“We look forward to seeing the U.S.’ true implementation of its commitments to China and meet China halfway,” the article concluded.
The Chinese readout stated clearly what the Chinese regime wants from Washington—support for its territorial claim over Taiwan.
Yang allegedly told Sullivan that China was upset about “recent wrong words and deeds of the U.S. side on Taiwan-related issues.”
“China urges the U.S. side to recognize the high sensitivity of the Taiwan question, [and] abide by the ‘one-China principle’,” according to the Chinese readout.
Sullivan did not heed China’s demand during the meeting.
“The National Security Advisor also reiterated our ‘One China policy’ based on the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Communiqués, and Six Assurances. And he underscored concerns about Beijing’s courses and provocative actions across the Taiwan Strait,” the U.S. official said.
The United States has long held a “one China policy,” which asserts that there is only one sovereign state with the name “China,” but it is different from the “one-China principle” under which the Chinese regime, which claimed mainland China after the civil war, asserts its rule over self-governed Taiwan.
China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party sees Taiwan as a part of its territory even though the island is a de facto independent entity with its own liberal democratic government.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has fueled speculation that Chinese leader Xi Jinping may follow his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s footsteps and invade Taiwan. The two leaders declared their “no limits” partnership on Feb. 4, with Putin supporting China’s claim over Taiwan and Xi taking up Moscow’s opposition to NATO expansion.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), in an interview with Fox News on Monday night, called on U.S. President Joe Biden to draft sanctions against China if the communist regime chooses to aid Moscow in its war.
“China’s trying to bail out Putin. If Putin loses, China loses,” Graham said.
He added, “If you believe the Chinese are going to help Putin survive by providing military equipment and economic assistance … put on the table for China to read, the sanctions that will come [their] way, if [they] help Putin.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.