The unnamed diplomat told CNN that China may be willing to provide military and financial assistance to Russia, as well as non-perishable military food kits commonly known as “meal, ready-to-eat-“ or “MREs.”
Not only did Russia specifically request support in distributing food to its troops in Ukraine, but Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly accepted the support of 16,000 volunteer fighters from the Middle East. Given that Russian troops have still been incapable of taking control of Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv, all signs point to the Russians struggling to achieve their intended goal.
U.S. Warns China Against Assisting Russia
China’s rumored willingness to indirectly assist Russia’s efforts in Ukraine has raised concerns in the White House about the possibility of escalating tensions that are already running high.
During a seven-hour meeting in Rome, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned China against assisting Russia, warning that there will be “potential implications and consequences.”
While the consequences of China assisting Russia have not been explicitly outlined yet, they will likely include a range of economic sanctions against China. Given that China is the manufacturing center of the world, sanctions could have not just a dramatic effect on the Chinese economy, but also the United States economy.
After the Rome meeting, the White House issued a statement describing how United States national security adviser Jake Sullivan had raised concerns about potential alignment between China and Russia.
“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,” a senior administration official said.
“Their meeting followed up on the November 15, 2021 virtual meeting between President Biden and President Xi. Mr. Sullivan raised a range of issues in U.S.-China relations, with substantial discussion of Russia’s war against Ukraine. They also underscored the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and China,” the White House statement reads.
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California publicly called on China to refuse to help Russia, asking the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., if they would support a world leader who can’t even feed his army.
“The Russian economy is puny compared to yours and half of California’s GDP. You don’t need Russia. Putin will only bring you troubles and headaches and sanctions. Be smart about this,” he added.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.