According to US authorities, Russia has approached China for military and economic aid as part of its invasion of Ukraine. A US official speaking to CNN did not comment on the entire breadth of Russia’s military aid request, other than to say that it included drones.
Chinese officials have refuted the charges, accusing the United States of spreading “misinformation.” According to Russia’s TASS state-run news agency, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a briefing on Monday that “the charges on the topic circulated by the US are erroneous information.”
On Monday, the Kremlin delivered its own denial. In a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “Russia has the independent capacity to continue the operation.” Peskov is said to have dismissed assertions made by Western leaders and intelligence agencies that Russia’s campaign is taking longer than intended. “As we have stated, it is proceeding as planned and will be completed in its entirety,” he continued.
The allegation comes on the heels of a recent US intelligence assessment that senior Chinese officials requested that their Russian colleagues refrain from invading Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In February, Russia and China published a joint 5,000-word declaration declaring that their friendship has “no bounds.” Beijing endorsed Russia’s security needs, and Moscow reaffirmed its position that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China” in the statement.
Instead of condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Beijing has urged the warring parties to achieve a peaceful settlement. “Rather than further aggravating the issue, we need to seek a diplomatic settlement,” Zhao Lijian stated. China has refused to join the rising Western sanctions regime aimed at crippling Russia’s economy, and Beijing has indicated that it has no plans to curtail its burgeoning trading connection with Moscow.
In a meeting with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi on Monday, US national security advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN that Washington will not allow any Chinese efforts to offset the consequences of Western sanctions on Russia. “We’re also keeping a careful eye on China to see whether it provides any kind of assistance to Russia, whether it’s material or financial.
It is something that we are concerned about. And we’ve told Beijing that we won’t stand by and let any country recompense Russia for the losses it’s suffered as a result of the economic sanctions “Sullivan explained.