US closely watching China on anti-Russian sanction adherence: WH
The United States had earlier warned China against supporting Russia in light of its operation in Ukraine, and now Washington says it has its eyes on China for any violation of the sanction regime imposed on its northern neighbor.
The United States is closely watching whether Beijing is abiding by the Western sanctions against Russia, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
Psaki said she did not have an assessment of China breaking the Western sanctions, though she did note that "we are, obviously, watching very closely."
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week Washington had not seen any evidence of Beijing providing Moscow with "workarounds" for sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies from around the world.
Chinese banks that conduct a lot of business with the Western countries, according to Yellen, "care deeply" about their relationship with the United States and European financial systems, asserting that the banks in question seemed "very cautious" in their willingness to do business with Russia.
Russia had launched its operation for several reasons, including NATO's eastward expansion, the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass, the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, and Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.
In response, the US and its allies have rolled out comprehensive sanctions, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.
China has been under fire from the Biden administration for not sanctioning Russia and abstaining from a UN Security Council vote to condemn Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine.
Beijing responded by stressing that it did not see the use of sanctions as a means of resolving disputes, in a clear criticism of the Western doctrine, which saw it sanctioning Russia's vital economic sectors.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said earlier that President Joe Biden, during an upcoming phone call, would tell his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, about the consequences awaiting Beijing if it supports Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
"We believe China, in particular, has a responsibility to use its influence on President Putin and to defend the International rules and principles that it professes to support," Blinken asserted.
Blinken's words were a reiteration of Psaki's last week, warning that the United States could take steps against China if Beijing did not abide by the sanctions regime imposed on Russia.
China's Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, pledged last week that China would protect its interests against any potential damage that may result from the US sanctions against Russia amid its special military operation in Ukraine.