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Jake Sullivan to meet with Chinese counterpart in Rome

Jake Sullivan to meet with Chinese counterpart in Rome
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan responds to questions from the news media during the daily press briefing at the White House pm February 11. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

March 13 (UPI) -- U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan will travel to Rome on Monday to meet with his Chinese counterpart, the White House said Sunday.

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.

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"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," said Horne.

U.S. President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a virtual summit in November where Biden sought to "establish some common-sense guardrails," with Beijing, while also urging China to stop "provocative" flights over Taiwan's airspace and raising issues about human rights and trade issues.

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Sullivan's visit also 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."

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"Our assessment right now is that [China is[ abiding by the requirements that have been put in place, but we would continue to encourage any country to think a lot about what place they want to -- what role they want to play -- in history as we all look back," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

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.

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"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," he said. "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."

While in Rome, Horne said that 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."

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