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Newsline: Chinese foreign ministry accused the US of spreading disinformation

The Chinese foreign ministry accused the US of spreading disinformation. Russia denied asking Beijing for military help. (https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-crisis-us-says-china-033844106.html) China will face consequences if it helps Russia evade sanctions in its invasion of Ukraine, the US says. Unnamed US officials told multiple news outlets that China had signalled willingness to provide military assistance to Russia. The exchanges came before top US and Chinese officials met in Rome. Media outlets, citing Washington officials, say that Russia has in recent days asked China specifically for military equipment, including drones. The report came as US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, for talks in Rome. “Mr Sullivan raised a range of issues in US-China relations, with substantial discussion of Russia’s war against Ukraine,” a readout of the meeting said. In an earlier CNN interview, Mr Sullivan said the US was “communicating directly, privately to Beijing that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them”. In response, a spokesman for the foreign ministry in Beijing, Zhao Lijian, said the US had “been spreading disinformation targeting China on the Ukraine issue, with malicious intentions”. Asked if he could clarify whether China had received a request for military help from Russia, Mr Zhao said this was “fake news” but did not deny it directly. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US raised concerns with the Chinese delegation “directly and very clearly”. China has so far refrained from condemning Russia for the invasion. When the United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn Russia’s invasion earlier this month, China was one of 35 countries that abstained.

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