Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, travels to Rome on Monday to meet with Yang Jiechi, China’s top foreign policy official, in talks expected to focus on the war in Ukraine, the highest level between the US and China face-to-face. since the Russian invasion began.
The White House said Sullivan would lead a delegation of officials from the National Security Council and the State Department to what would only be his third meeting with Yang since the Biden administration took office in January last year.
“This meeting is taking place in the context of Russia’s unjustified and brutal war against Ukraine, and as China has joined Russia to advance their own vision of the world order, “said a person familiar with the agenda, adding that they would discuss the impact of the Russian invasion on” regional and global security. “.
“The war in Ukraine will definitely be an important topic of conversation,” the person said. “It is important for China [People’s Republic of China] officials to hear directly from [US] National Security Adviser. “
In a speech to CNN on Sunday, Sullivan said that while China “was aware” that Putin was “planning something”, Beijing “may not have understood the full extent of it”. He added: “It is very possible that Putin lied to them in the same way he lied to Europeans and others.”
On NBC, Sullivan also warned China against any move to “bail out” Russia or make it easier for them to circumvent Western sanctions.
“We want to ensure that neither China nor anyone else can compensate Russia for these losses. As for the specific means to do so, again, I do not intend to present it all in public, but we will communicate it privately to China. , as we have already done and will continue to do, ”he said.
Emily Horne, NSC spokeswoman, said Sullivan and Yang, who have met twice over the past year, would also discuss efforts to control US-China competition. The person familiar with the situation said the Rome talks were a follow-up meeting of President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinpings. virtual meeting In November.
The meeting comes as Beijing and Washington continue to disagree on a wide range of issues. Over the past year, Biden has implemented policies that have maintained the tough stance his predecessor, Donald Trump, has taken.
The Chinese embassy said it had “no information to offer” about the Rome summit. The discussions come at a crucial time when Washington is becoming more and more concerned about China’s relations with Russia, which has been clearly illustrated by its refusal to condemn the invasion and its willingness to place the blame on the United States and NATO.
China continues to insist that it is a neutral party to the Ukraine conflict, but is also increasingly vocal in its support for Moscow’s justifications for its actions.
Earlier this week, Chinese diplomats and state media called for an investigation into Russian allegations that the United States supported biological warfare research in Ukraine. The United States has ridiculed the allegations as “vicious” and warned that Russia may be ready to use chemical weapons in Ukraine.
Beijing has also crippled Moscow by citing NATO’s expansion to the east in recent decades as a catalyst for war, and condemned US-led sanctions against the Putin regime as part of a larger effort to curb Russia and China.
Horne said Sullivan would also meet with Luigi Mattiolo, a top adviser to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, as part of a U.S. effort to coordinate a “strong, united international response to President Putin’s election war.”