Russia has asked China for military equipment since its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times and Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing U.S. officials.
U.S. National Security advisor Jake Sullivan will be in Rome on Monday to meet with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi, the White House said earlier.
Russia, which calls its action in Ukraine a “special operation,” and China have tightened cooperation as they have come under strong Western pressure over human rights and a raft of other issues.
Read more: How Russia-Ukraine conflict helps China’s Polar Silk Road
Beijing has not condemned Russia’s attack and does not call it an invasion, but has urged a negotiated solution.
The White House’s National Security Council declined to comment.
The Washington Post said the unidentified U.S. officials did not state the kind of weaponry that had been requested or how China had responded.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan plans to meet China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday and will stress the economic penalties Beijing will face if it helps Russia in its war in Ukraine, U.S. officials say.
China is about to announce to the world who they really are: will they be Russia's armory or will they chose to earn the Nobel peace prize? #TheGreatAmericaShow
Russia seeks military equipment from China after Ukraine invasion… https://t.co/cMEUwsg3Lc via @MailOnline
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) March 14, 2022
Sullivan will warn of the isolation China could face globally if it continued to support Russia, one U.S. official said, without providing details.
Officials of the United States and other countries have sought to make clear to China in recent weeks that siding with Russia could carry consequences for trade flows, development of new technologies and could expose it to secondary sanctions.
Chinese companies which defy U.S. restrictions on exports to Russia may be cut off from American equipment and software they need to make their products, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said last week.
Read more: China debunks reports on Chinese-Russian coordination on Ukraine
It will be Sullivan’s first known meeting with Yang since closed-door sessions in Zurich in October that sought to calm tension after an acrimonious public exchange between the two in Alaska a year ago.
Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk