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US accuses China of 'every support' for Russia's war in Ukraine, threatens more sanctions

by Chris York May 29, 2024 11:34 PM 2 min read
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) is welcomed by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (R) during the opening ceremony of "The Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia" in Moscow on March 22, 2013. (Sergei Ilnitsky/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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The U.S. has accused China of giving Russia "every support behind the scenes" towards its war in Ukraine, describing its actions as "destabilizing in the heart of Europe."

Speaking to reporters on a visit to Brussels on May 29, Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said NATO and European countries need to send "a collective message of concern to China about its actions."

"What we've seen from China to Russia is not a one-off or a couple of rogue firms involved in supporting Russia," Campbell said, adding: "This is a sustained, comprehensive effort that is backed up by the leadership in China that is designed to give Russia every support behind the scenes."

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 earlier in May.

On May 22, U.K. Foreign Secretary Grant Shapps said he was declassifying new intelligence to reveal the "quite significant" development that the U.K. and U.S. had reports that "lethal aid is now, or will be, flowing from China to Russia and into Ukraine."

But U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan subsequently distanced himself from Shapps' assertion, saying that the U.S. had seen no evidence of it either in the past or "to date."

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."

It's not clear if Campbell's latest comments refer to the same intelligence or other information.

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.

The U.S. imposed new sanctions on May 1 against nearly 300 companies and individuals in Russia and third countries, including Chinese companies, for aiding Moscow's war effort, the Treasury Department announced.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on around 200 targets, while the State Department targeted over 80.

The sanctions are aimed at combating evasion and support for Russia's military-industrial base and its biological and chemical weapons programs, according to the Treasury statement.

Opinion: Putin’s China visit was another battle in Russia’s war of economic endurance
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a clear signal to the West last week: China stands firmly behind Russia. Putin made his first foreign trip since his inauguration to Beijing to meet with President Xi Jinping on May 16. The visit came after a cabinet reshuffle in Russia the week prior,
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