The White House announced on Sunday that U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will travel to Rome on Monday to meet with his Chinese counterpart.
National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement that Sullivan will speak to Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of China’s Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi as part of the United States’ “ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication” between the two countries. Said Horne:“The two sides will discuss ongoing efforts to manage the competition between our two countries and discuss the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on regional and global security.” Horne added that while in Rome, Sullivan will also meet with Luigi Mattiolo, diplomatic adviser to the Italian prime minister, “to continue coordinating a storong, united international response to President Putin’s war of choice.”
Sullivan’s visit comes as U.S. officials have criticized China’s response to the war in Ukraine, with Chinese domestic media promoting Russian disinformation and describing the war as a “special military operation.” On Sunday, Sullivan told CNN’s State of the Union that the United States was prepared to take action against China if it violated sanctions to support Russia. Said Sullivan: “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. 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.”
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