On March 14, 2022, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee and Director of the Central Committee on Foreign Affairs Office, met with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Rome, Italy.
The meeting between the two officials was the third under the Biden administration: the first was held in Anchorage (Alaska) in March 2021 and the second in Zurich (Switzerland) in October 2021. These meetings were preparatory for the first. virtual interview between President Xi Jinping and Joe Biden in November 2021.
Following the meeting in Rome on March 14, 2022, China published two official statements: one on Sino-American relations and one on China's position in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Yang Jiechi reiterated to Jake Sullivan the fundamental premises for the development of bilateral relations between the US and China, namely respect for Chinese internal affairs such as matters relating to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong. On the crisis in Ukraine, China and the US agreed on the need to work together to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but the US expressed concern about China's possible support for Russia.
The same concern was reiterated in the conversation between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 18, 2022, preceded by an interview by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to international media. In these fora, China made it clear that it does not want war in Ukraine and that it is necessary to get out of the cold war mentality to ensure a peaceful, stable and prosperous future for the entire international community, also underlining how radical and indiscriminate sanctions would only make people suffer and could trigger severe crises in the global economy and in trade, finance, energy, food, and industrial and supply chains, paralyzing the world economy. Therefore we need to focus on dialogue to stop hostilities as soon as possible and thus prevent civilian casualties from increasing, preventing a humanitarian crisis.
For further information, see the following official press releases from the Chinese government: