Beijing cries ‘disinformation’ over US warning of ‘consequences’ for aiding Putin’s war machine

China further delineated its position on the crisis in Ukraine by accusing the United States of spreading “disinformation” ahead of representatives meeting in Italy.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan is set to meet with Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi on Monday in Rome, Italy where it has been suggested they will discuss limits to Beijing’s support for Moscow. In an official capacity, the meeting is meant to “exchange views on China-U.S. relations and international and regional issues of common concern,” the Associated Press reported.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, called Ukraine a “hot topic” for the meeting before laying claims of “disinformation” against the U.S. “The U.S. has been spreading disinformation targeting China recently over the Ukraine issue,” Zhao said. “It is malicious.”

Zhao was referring to reports from over the weekend that claimed Russia was seeking aid for their invasion of Ukraine from the Chinese government. Sullivan spoke out on that topic Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

After stating the U.S.’s position that China was aware Russia was planning an invasion, Sullivan said China is being closely monitored for signs of support, including financial and military aid.

“It is a concern of ours, and we have communicated to Beijing that we will not stand by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions,” he had said.

“I’m not going to sit here publicly and brandish threats, but what I will tell you is that we are communicating directly, privately to Beijing that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions, evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them,” Sullivan added. “We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country anywhere in the world.”

In contrast to Sullivan’s remarks, Zhao went on, “What is pressing now is that all parties should exercise restraint and strive to cool down the situation, rather than fueling the tension. We should promote diplomatic settlements instead of further escalating the situation.”

Never mind that China just issued its own chilling warning of “worst consequences” to any country that offers military support to Taiwan.

Of course, Zhao’s slings against the U.S., while tempered with talk of diplomacy, come as President Joe Biden’s administration is equally accusing China of spreading fake news. Sullivan discussed the reports that came out this week on biolabs in Ukraine funded by the U.S. and the allegations made by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova that they were weapons labs.

Sullivan said the accusations of American interest in biological warfare was “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.”

The narrative on those labs has shifted over the course of the week from denial of their existence to arguments that they are merely research facilities before landing at that research being a risk for bioweapons if the Russians get control of it. This after a statement by a Pentagon spokesperson saying, “There’s nothing to it. It’s classic Russian propaganda.”

Similarly, White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed the alliance between Russia and China on a propaganda narrative, calling it a “clear pattern.”

What is known is that Sullivan has met with Yang before to discuss the U.S.’s concern with China including their interactions with Taiwan, ethnic Uyghurs and pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong. Furthermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin was a guest of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics prior to the invasion of Ukraine.

Sullivan is also expected to meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s diplomatic adviser, Luige Mattiolo.


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