Jake Sullivan warns Beijing ‘there will absolutely be consequences’ if they aid Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

 

If China lends economic or material support to Russia for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated there “absolutely” will be consequences.

While he wouldn’t go so far as to call Chinese President Xi Jinping a “co-conspirator” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sullivan appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday and admitted that China’s relationship with Russia is a “concern.”

“We believe that China, in fact, was aware before the invasion took place that Vladimir Putin was planning something,” Sullivan said. “They may not have known the full extent of it, because it’s very possible that Putin lied to them in the same way he lied to Europeans and others.”

After declaring a “no-limits” partnership with Russia during the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, the New York Times revealed that Xi reportedly asked Putin to delay the start of his invasion into Ukraine until after the Olympics were over.

Citing a Western intelligence report, The Times stated that “senior Chinese officials had some level of direct knowledge about Russia’s war plans or intentions before the invasion started.”

“The Olympics concluded on Feb. 20 and Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24,” Fox News reported. “One day after the invasion, China lifted its restrictions on Russian wheat imports to help ease the impact of the sanctions.”

“We also are watching closely to see the extent to which China actually does provide any form of support, material support or economic support to Russia,” Sullivan continued. “It is a concern of ours, and we have communicated to Beijing that we will not stand by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions.”

Sullivan didn’t elaborate on what those consequences would be, but stated that Beijing has been privately informed.

“I’m not going to sit here publicly and brandish threats, but what I will tell you is that 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,” Sullivan said. “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.”

In a Feb. 23 press conference, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying blamed the United States for escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

“On the Ukraine issue, lately the U.S. has been sending weapons to Ukraine, heightening tensions, creating panic and even hyping up the possibility of warfare,” Chunying said.

“A key question here is what role the U.S., the culprit of current tensions surrounding Ukraine, has played,” she continued. “If someone keeps pouring oil on the flame while accusing others of not doing their best to put out the fire, such kind of behavior is clearly irresponsible and immoral.”

China has declined to join the U.S. and Europe in imposing sanctions against Russia and stressed just last week that Russia remained China’s “most important strategic partner.”

Meanwhile, Representatives Young Kim (R-CA) and Eissa Slotkin (D-MI) have introduced the DICTATOR Act, a bi-partisan bill that would require the State Department to investigate the extent of Chinese support for the invasion the CPP has extended to Russia.

“While the United States, NATO allies and other nations have taken steps to hold Vladimir Putin accountable for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and to provide support to the Ukrainian people as they defend their freedoms,” stated Rep. Kim upon the bill’s announcement, “silence and deference from the People’s Republic of China toward the Russian Federation cannot be ignored.”

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