The United States is sounding out close allies about the possibility of imposing new sanctions on China if Beijing provides military support to Russia for its war in Ukraine, according to four U.S. officials and other sources.
The consultations, which are still at a preliminary stage, are intended to drum up support from a range of countries, especially those in the wealthy Group of 7 (G7), to coordinate support for any possible restrictions.
It was not clear what specific sanctions Washington will propose. The conversations have not been previously disclosed.
The U.S. Treasury Department, a lead agency on the imposition of sanctions, declined to comment.
Washington and its allies have said in recent weeks that China was considering providing weapons to Russia, which Beijing denies. Aides to U.S. President Joe Biden have not publicly provided evidence.
They have also warned China directly against doing so, including in meetings between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as during a Feb. 18 in-person meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on the sidelines of a global security conference in Munich.
The Biden administration’s initial steps to counter Chinese support for Russia have included informal outreach at the staff and diplomatic levels, including the Treasury Department, sources familiar with the matter said.