US national security adviser Jake Sullivan met Monday with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome, Chinese state broadcaster CGTN reported. The Chinese state media report provided no further details on Monday's meeting, including the exact timing, what was discussed and whether the meeting had concluded.
Experts say the meeting between senior American and Chinese officials could have far-reaching consequences not only for the ongoing war in Ukraine, but for China's role in the world and its relationship with the West. The meeting has also taken on additional urgency as concerns grow in the West that Beijing is not only siding with Russia by not condemning its aggression in Ukraine but could take further steps to aid its strategic partner.
A senior US official told CNN Sunday that Moscow has asked Beijing for military assistance in Ukraine, including drones. Such aid, while providing a significant boost to Russia, would pose an enormous risk for China, which has so far sought to portray itself as a neutral actor in the conflict. China has denied it was asked by Russia for military equipment or other assistance to support its war in Ukraine. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Monday also denied allegations Russia requested military assistance in Ukraine from China.