China on Tuesday strongly urged the United States to not impact Beijing’s legitimate rights and interests while dealing with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. As US-China ties continues to deteriorate further with varying narratives of the Russia-Ukraine war, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was asked if Beijing is worried by US sanctions. Responding to this, he said that the sanctions will hurt all parties amid a pandemic-hit global economy.

In one of the most explicit remarks about US-threatened penalties, Wang in a phone call with Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares on Monday said that, “China is not a party to the crisis, nor does it want the sanctions to affect China” adding “China has the right to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.”

The latest development comes in the backdrop of the US issuing warning to China, or any other nation of sanctions against assisting Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. The Russia-Ukraine war has now entered the 20th day, and reports have emerged stating that Russia had asked China for humanitarian and military assistance, including ‘ready-to-eat’ meals for Russian soldiers. While China has denied sending any aid to Russia, the US had warned the countries against siding with Russia.

US, China met in Rome amid Russia-Ukraine crisis

Amid the escalating crisis in Europe after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, US and Chinese officials had met for a key high-level meeting in Rome on March 14. The meeting between White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat, Communist Party Politburo member Yang Jiechi continued for around seven hours wherein they discussed a range of global issues including Ukraine. It is to note that US officials had started revealing Russia’s bid for military and economic assistance from Beijing.

Sullivan said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation”, “There is an escalating level of rhetoric on the Russian side trying to accuse the Ukrainians and the United States of potentially using chemical and biological weapons.”

“That’s an indicator that, in fact, the Russians are getting ready to do it, and try and pin the blame elsewhere. And nobody should fall for that,” he also said.

Notably, among the assistance that Russia requested from China, according to CNN sources, was also packaged non-perishable military food kits, known in the United States as “ready-to-eat meals”. As per the report, the request underscored the basic logistical challenges that military analysts and officials say have stymied Russian progress in Ukraine — and raises questions about the fundamental readiness of the Russian military.

Image: AP