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US warns Xi Jinping of ‘what might come his way’ if China supports Russia in Ukraine war effort

‘I hope there are some lessons learned that sanctions bite, that we will keep them coming’

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 07 April 2022 14:56 BST
Biden vows to ‘ratchet up the pain’ on Putin to increase economic isolation

A top US state department official has warned president Xi Jinping of “what might come his way” if China supports Russia’s Ukraine invasion.

China could face sanctions similar to Russia if it supported Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion, said Wendy Sherman, the state deparment’s deputy secretary and second-most senior official, to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

“I think one only has to look at the range of sanctions, more to be announced today, against Putin. It gives President Xi, I think, a pretty good understanding of what might come his way should he in fact support Putin in any material fashion,” she said.

Ms Sherman said the US hoped “the PRC [People’s Republic of China] gets some lessons learned out of this [sanctions on Russia].”

“I hope there are some lessons learned that sanctions bite, that we will keep them coming, that there will be consequences for actions,” she added.

Ms Sherman also pointed out that the US has seen “indications” that Beijing has been troubled by the reports that have emerged of civilian casualties and accusations of war crimes in the eastern European country.

“I think we’ve all seen indications that they are conflicted somewhat,” she said.

“That’s not to say they don’t see Russia as a partner. I’m not naive. They do. But they’ve also been public to say it is not an alliance. And they certainly, I think even in the meeting the other day, were horrified by what happened in Bucha,” she continued, referring to the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where bodies of civilians were found in large mass graves and out in the open on streets.

“I think this is an ongoing circumstance and relationship, and we’re going to have to keep working at it.”

Meanwhile, the US Senate is taking up legislation on Thursday to end normal trade relations with Russia and to ban oil imports from the country.

Last month, in a speech to the Congress, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky had said that “new packages of sanctions are needed constantly every week until the Russian military machine stops.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.

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