Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is calling for the United States to push back harder against China amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Appearing on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, the senator said, “China is all in with Russia. They have very few friends on the planet, so what I propose we do, is if in fact the Chinese are helping arm Russia and providing assistance to get around international sanctions, that we put secondary sanctions on China—that we go after anybody and everybody who tries to prop up the war criminal Putin.”
Graham added, “And if we don’t do that, then I think we’re missing an opportunity to further isolate Russia and finally in my lifetime, since Trump left anyway, stand up to China.”
The senator’s comments come as U.S. authorities and retired military officials discuss how Chinese President Xi Jinping is closely monitoring how the Biden administration reacts to the situation in Ukraine.
China has been criticizing the spread of reports that Russia asked the country for military equipment and other assistance after the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Monday, Beijing reportedly said, “the U.S. has been spreading disinformation and this is very dangerous.”
“We need to advance a diplomatic solution of the situation instead of further escalating the situation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.
On Sunday, American authorities had reportedly said the U.S. government had cause to think that Russia requested the assistance from China.
Information about the requests spread before White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with China’s senior diplomat, Yang Jiechi, in Rome on Monday, according to National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne, per CNN.
On Sunday, Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that China providing Russia with help is a “concern.”
“We also are watching closely to see the extent to which China actually does provide any form of support, material support or economic support, to Russia. It is a concern of ours. And we have communicated to Beijing that we will not stand by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions,” Sullivan said.
NBC News reported, “Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday denied that Moscow had requested military aid from other countries.”
“The officials with knowledge of Russia’s request to China declined to elaborate on whether Beijing agreed to supply military aid, or whether the United States even knows the answer to that question. They declined say what kind of equipment was requested, and whether it was lethal,” the outlet added.
As The Daily Wire reported, in a recent poll by The Wall Street Journal discussing the feelings of U.S. voters towards various pressing topics, China was on the minds of many respondents.
The Journal reported, “73% of voters said China was the nation’s largest economic threat and 52% said it presented the biggest security threat.”
Around 50% of voters said they approved of how Biden has dealt with Russia, contrasted with 44% who said they didn’t approve. “Asked a separate question on their view of how Mr. Biden has handled the crisis in Ukraine, 47% of voters said they approved and 46% disapproved,” the Journal added.
A broad majority of respondents said they were closely watching the situation in Ukraine — at 89%. And 55% said they were in favor of giving more military assistance to Ukraine, like equipment and weapons. The same amount said they would back putting additional economic sanctions on Russia.