(Brussels) The United States and the EU reiterated on Friday that any Beijing support for Moscow to evade Western sanctions would damage their ties with China, which has urged Europeans to distance themselves from Washington.
Posted at 11:08 am
At a meeting in Brussels, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the number two in American diplomacy, and Secretary General of the European Diplomatic Service Stefano Sannino stressed “that they would continue to urge China not to circumvent and not to undermine the sanctions against Russia,” it said in a joint statement.
They reiterated “that such support would have implications for their respective relations with China.” They also expressed “concern about China’s repeated manipulation of information, including spreading disinformation from Moscow” about the war in Ukraine.
Referring to Lithuania, which has fallen victim to Chinese trade reprisals after the establishment of a Taiwanese representation, the two diplomats expressed their “disapproval” of any “economic coercion” exercised by Beijing.
This joint statement comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a summit with European leaders in early April, called on the EU to “form its own perception of China and independently pursue its own policies in relation to Beijing.”
According to Chinese officials, the Europeans, contrary to their interests as consumers of Russian gas, have allowed themselves to be drawn into a conflict at Washington’s initiative.
While Beijing refuses to condemn the invasion of Ukraine and defends its “rock-solid” friendship with Moscow, the EU warned China at the summit that any support for Russia, particularly through sharply inflating its purchases of hydrocarbons, would “taint” its economy would have relations with Europe, its main trading partner.
Washington goes further by raising the possibility of sanctions. “We have been very transparent” in explaining to Beijing “what we are doing [contre la Russie] on sanctions, to give an idea of the menu we might choose from if China decides to provide material support to Moscow,” Wendy Sherman told a think-tank in Brussels on Thursday.
” I hope that [la Chine] will be able to learn lessons when we realize that we cannot separate the United States from its allies and that Europe will not distance itself from the United States,” she stressed.