(FiveNation.com)- Last week, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo offered a toothless warning to Chinese companies telling them not to seek ways to bypass trade sanctions to provide Russia with supplies needed to continue its invasion of Ukraine.
In an interview with the New York Times published last Tuesday, Raimondo said there were going to be countries who would try to do “an end-run” around the sanctions and export controls imposed by the US and its allies.
She claimed that China’s largest chip manufacturer Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) would be going against its interests if it tried to circumvent the sanctions.
Raimondo told the Times that it was in SMIC’s self-interest not to supply chips to Russia, arguing that going against the sanctions would be “devastating to China’s ability to produce these chips.”
As part of the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US and its allies imposed export controls on Moscow to cut off its supply of advanced technology such as chips and foreign products used to make software, blueprints, and electronic equipment.
US and Chinese officials are meeting in Rome on Monday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as well as China’s relationship with the West.
The Rome meeting, between National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi, comes as the US continues to urge China not to take further steps to aid Russia.
A senior US official said on Sunday that the Kremlin has asked Beijing for military assistance in Ukraine, including supplying drones. However, China has denied the claims, saying Moscow had not asked for military equipment or other assistance from Beijing.
On Sunday, Jake Sullivan told CNN’s Dana Bash that the US was “watching closely” to see if China provides any support to Russia. Sullivan said the US has told Beijing that it would not allow any country to “compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions” imposed.
According to a statement from NSC spokeswoman Emily Horne, during Monday’s meeting in Rome, the US and China will discuss “ongoing efforts to manage the competition” between the two countries. They will also discuss Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on regional and global security.