A US official has reportedly told multiple US news outlets that Russia asked China to provide military equipment including drones, as it continues to face string resistance in Ukraine.
Russia has reportedly asked China for military equipment to help in the invasion of Ukraine, sparking concerns that Beijing may undermine Western efforts to help Ukrainian forces defend their country, according to US officials cited by the Reuters news agency.
The US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, in an interview with CNN said washington was communicating with Beijing that there will absolutely be consequences if it supports Russia in war against Ukraine.
“We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them.
“We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world,” he said.
He added that while the US believed China was aware that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was “planning something” before the invasion happened, Beijing “may not have understood the full extent of it”.
“Because it’s very possible that [Mr] Putin lied to them the same way that he lied to Europeans and others,” Mr Sullivan said.
The Chinese foreign ministry described the allegation as disinformation from the US, citing that China’s stance had always been consistent and that China was playing a constructive role in promoting talks.
The exchanges come as top US and China officials prepare to meet in Rome on Monday.