Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: US diplomat sharpens threat of sanctions if China helps Russia

The No 2 US diplomat came to Europe this week to reiterate a barbed threat to China over its stance on Russia’s war on Ukraine: provide material support to Moscow, and face sweeping sanctions and export controls. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman issued the warning during a lengthy broadside against Beijing in Brussels on Thursday. Speaking to European lawmakers, press and students, Sherman said that she and other senior US officials had repeatedly explained the US position on sanctions to their Chinese counterparts. “President [Joe] Biden has spoken to Xi Jinping directly; Jake Sullivan, our national security adviser, to [China’s top diplomat] Yang Jiechi; Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken to Foreign Minister Wang Yi; I myself have spoken to more than one [official] in the PRC,” Sherman said. “And we’ve been very direct that they have seen what we have done in terms of sanctions, export controls, designations vis-a-vis Russia, so it should give them some idea of the menu from which we could choose if, indeed, China were to provide material support,” she added. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-war-senior-us-official-093000548.html) Sherman’s remarks were the latest in a series by senior US officials warning that Washington will not hold back from punishing Beijing if it is found to be assisting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war effort.

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