Russia has asked China for military equipment to support its invasion of Ukraine, US officials say, sparking concern in the White House that Beijing could undermine Western efforts to help Ukrainian forces defend their country.
US officials told the Financial Times that Russia had requested military equipment and other forms of assistance since the start of the invasion. They declined to give details of what Russia had requested.
Another person familiar with the situation said the United States was preparing to warn its allies, amid some indications that China may be preparing to help Russia. Other U.S. officials have said there are signs Russia is running out of certain types of weapons as the war in Ukraine drags into its third week.
The White House had no comment.
Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, said he was unaware of any suggestion that China might be willing to help Russia.
“China is deeply concerned and saddened by the situation in Ukraine,” Liu said. “We sincerely hope that the situation will calm down and that peace will return as soon as possible.”
The revelation comes as US national security adviser Jake Sullivan travels to Rome for talks on Monday with senior Chinese foreign policy official Yang Jiechi.
Before leaving Washington on Sunday, Sullivan warned China not to try to “bail out” Russia by helping Moscow circumvent sanctions the United States and its allies have imposed on President Vladimir Putin and his regime.
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