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U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at a news briefing at the White House on Dec. 4, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan distanced himself from an assertion from U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, who said earlier on May 22 that the U.S. and U.K. have evidence that China is supplying or about to supply lethal aid to Russia.

Sullivan said that while he has personally warned about the possibility since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the U.S. has seen no evidence either in the past or "to date."

"I look forward to speaking to the U.K. to make sure that we have a common operating picture," he added, saying that he "just wants to understand what exactly (Shapps') comment was referring to."

Speaking at the London Defense Conference, Shapps said earlier that he was declassifying new intelligence to reveal the "quite significant" development and called on the world to "wake up" to the threat it poses.

Shapps said that U.S. and British defense intelligence now show that "lethal aid is now, or will be, flowing from China to Russia and into Ukraine," Reuters reported.

China officially declares itself a neutral party to Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine and has denied providing lethal aid, but Beijing and Moscow continue to develop closer ties, most recently with Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting his counterpart Xi Jinping last week.

U.S. officials have previously warned China against providing Russia with lethal military aid and urged Beijing to use its influence over Moscow to help end the war.

Although Sullivan declined to confirm Shapps' assertion, he did say that China is clearly providing weapons components to Russia, which the U.S. has "taken action to deal with."

West’s stance on Ukraine war ‘completely nonsensical,’ says UK defense secretary
The West’s current stance on the war in Ukraine and delays in military aid are “completely nonsensical,” the U.K’s defense secretary said on May 19.
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