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Tipsheet

Deputy Secretary of State Says China Will Have to 'Make Some Tough Decisions' on Relationship with Russia

Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Sunday that China has to "make some tough decisions" about its relationship with Russia amid the Russian war on Ukraine.

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Sherman said during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" that it remains unclear how Russia's relationship with China has been affected by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"We saw Russia and China come closer together, certainly before the Olympics, putting out a long manifesto about their partnership and how they were going to move forward together. And at the same time, we'd seen China pretty uncomfortable with an invasion of a sovereign country," Sherman said. "The People's Republic of China has often said that sovereignty is key. territorial integrity is key, that countries should decide their own political future. We agree with those principles. We hope that China does as well."

The deputy secretary also noted the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine thus far. The war between the two countries has been going on for roughly three weeks.

"In two weeks, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin undid 30 years of economic development," Sherman said. "There was an international order that China and Russia both subscribe to that help both countries developed for Russia. That is now gone. We're seeing them be taken out of every organization and the president's going to move forward with the Congress on removing them from most favored nation status at the WTO, the World Trade Organization."

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"I think the PRC watching very closely, has to make some tough decisions," she continued.

China had reportedly asked that Russia delay its invasion of Ukraine until the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing had concluded. 

And last week, Russia accused the U.S. and Ukraine of creating chemical and biological weapons. Shortly after, China began promoting Russia's accusations that the U.S. is financing biological weapons labs in Ukraine.

When asked during Sunday's interview whether Russia's invasion of Ukraine has changed China's calculus regarding Taiwan, Sherman said she hopes China is "looking very carefully at what's happening."

"We have a united world with very grave and very consequential sanctions on Russia," she said. "We understand and support a One China policy. But we don't believe that China, PRC, ought to take Taiwan by force. And we will do everything we can to deter that effort by the PRC and I think they're watching very closely. In fact, I think they made that statement because they've seen what's happened and they're trying to go on the offense, knowing that they ought to be on the defense."

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