A senior US diplomat has again warned China of sanctions if it offers “material support” for Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, while committing to helping India end its dependence on Russian weapons.
China did not help the situation in Ukraine by doing things like intensifying Russian disinformation campaigns, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said at an event in Brussels on Thursday. She said she hoped Beijing would learn the “real lessons” of Russia’s war, including that it could not separate the United States from its allies.
“They have seen what we have done in terms of sanctions, export controls, designations against Russia, so it should give them an idea of the menu we could choose from if China were to actually provide material support.” Sherman told a crowd at an event hosted by the Friends of Europe group, which is co-funded by the European Union.
Sherman also said the United States would work with India to help the country move away from its traditional dependence on Russian weapons, given the impact global sanctions have on Russia’s arms industry.
“They understand that their military, which was built on Russian weapons, probably does not have a future with Russian weapons anymore, because our sanctions have withdrawn the military-industrial complex in Russia – and it will not return for the time being,” she said.
China said this week that it plans to continue strengthening its strategic ties with Russia, showing that relations remain solid despite growing concern over war crimes committed by Putin’s forces. At the same time, Chinese companies have complied with US sanctions, even though the government is against them because of sovereignty.
India has largely taken the same view of the war as China and supported calls for a ceasefire and diplomatic solution, while abstaining from voting in the UN on votes on draft resolutions condemning Russia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, which spoke with President Joe Biden earlier this month, has told the United States that it needs Russian weapons to secure its border with China, and the alternatives are too expensive.