The nearly seven-hour meeting held on Monday March 14 in Rome by American Jake Sullivan, US President Joe Biden’s security adviser, and Yang Jiechi, member of the political bureau and director of the Central Affairs Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has made it possible to record the differences between the United States and China, but not to reconcile their points of view.
The press release published by the White House at the end of the meeting is in eight lines. We learn that the two men had “a substantial discussion of Russia’s war against Ukraine” and that they have “stressed the importance of keeping the lines of communication open” between Beijing and Washington.
China, on the other hand, was much more forthcoming. The official Xinhua (New China) agency published two dispatches. The first gives an overview of the bilateral relationship and devotes no less than three paragraphs to Taiwan: Beijing expresses its “serious concern” and his “strong opposition” in the face of American support for “separatist forces” from the island. A minute later, a shorter dispatch reports Yang Jiechi’s comments on Ukraine. Besides recalling China’s traditional position on respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity, Yang added that“it is important to take into consideration the historical context of the Ukrainian question, to go back to the origin of the problem and to take into consideration the legitimate concerns of all the parties”.
The order of priorities is not the same
Only two lines, at the end of the dispatch, relate to the debates of the day: the assertion by the United States according to which Beijing would help Russia militarily. “The Chinese side resolutely opposes all statements and actions that spread false information or misrepresent and discredit China’s position. »
According to Financial Times, “the United States has told its allies that China has responded positively to Russia’s request for military equipment. Cables sent to allies in Europe and Asia do not say whether China provided the aid or simply told Moscow it would provide the aid.” According to this source, “Russia has reportedly requested five types of equipment from China: surface-to-air missiles, drones, armored vehicles, logistics vehicles and intelligence-related equipment.”
After the meeting in Rome, Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department, said: “We made it clear to China that we would not stop there. We will not allow any country to compensate for Russia’s losses due to economic sanctions. » According to him, “ China could do more than many other countries to put an end to this senseless violence, this brutality, this premeditated war of Putin”.
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