China asked to join war effort in Ukraine by Russia, US official claims
Vladimir Putin has asked Beijing for military and economic aid, according to reports
US officials have reportedly revealed that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is requesting military assistance from China and has been doing so since the start of his invasion of Ukraine.
A source has warned there are now indicators that Chinese officials are considering complying with the request, the Financial Times reports.
The reports come as there are signs Putin’s military is running out of resources including weaponry.
Liu Pengyu, the Chinese embassy spokesperson in Washington, said he was unaware of any suggestions that China might be willing to help Russia.
“China is deeply concerned and grieved on the Ukraine situation,” Liu said. “We sincerely hope that the situation will ease and peace will return at an early date.”
Since the invasion, the China-Russia partnership has raised grave concerns as the two countries have jointly expressed their opposition to NATO.
This week, the US issued a warning to China against helping Russia, whether that would be by circumventing sanctions or supplying Moscow with arms.
Taking further prevention, Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, will meet his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi this week in Rome to not provide any military assistance or economic aid.
“We will ensure that neither China, nor anyone else, can compensate Russia for these losses,” Sullivan told NBC television on Sunday.
He continued: “In terms of the specific means of doing that, again, I’m not going to lay all of that out in public, but we will communicate that privately to China, as we have already done and will continue to do.”
Chris Johnson, a former top CIA China analyst, said Russia's supposed request highlights that their relationship is stronger than ever.
Mr Johnson, head of China Strategies Group, said: “But it also highlights China’s position as the clear senior partner in the relationship now.
“Moreover, if they even are considering providing assistance, that speaks volumes about the personalised nature of the relationship amidst Chinese fears that Putin could fall, unleashing chaos on their northern border unseen since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”