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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

US and Chinese Officials Hold a Meeting in Rome

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According to Chinese official broadcaster CGTN, US national security advisor Jake Sullivan met with top Chinese official Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday.

The Chinese official media article did not disclose any other information on Monday’s meeting, such as the precise time, what was addressed, or if the conversation had been completed.

According to experts, the conversation between senior American and Chinese officials might have many further ramifications not just for the current conflict in Ukraine, but also for China’s global role and engagement with the West. The conference has also taken on added importance as Western suspicions rise that Beijing is not only backing with Russia by not criticizing its assault in Ukraine but may possibly take more moves to assist it’s strategically.

A high US source told CNN on Sunday that Moscow has asked Beijing for military assistance in Ukraine, including drones. While such assistance would be a huge boost for Russia, it would be a huge risk for China, which has so far tried to portray itself as a neutral party in the conflict.

China has rebuffed Russia’s proposal for navy equipment or other assistance in its fight in Ukraine. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, also denied on Monday that Russia requested Chinese navy assistance in Ukraine.

In response to reports that Russia urged Chinese military assistance, Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, stated that such a move would be a “defining moment” for China and the 21st century.

According to a US person familiar with the situation, Russia has also requested economic assistance from China. That request, as well as the one for military assistance, came after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the official, who declined to elaborate on China’s response but suggested that Beijing had reacted.

The possible economic danger connected with Russian backing is unlikely to escape the attention of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is generally anticipated to achieve a record third term in office at the Communist Party’s 20th National Congress in Beijing this autumn.

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