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, Reuters reported.
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.
U.S. officials have been recent days warning that it has intelligence that China is considering sending lethal aid to Russia, causing fury in Beijing and underscoring how already deteriorating diplomatic relations are being rocked by almost daily crises.
From a recent spy balloon controversy to a revived dispute over the specific origins of Covid, U.S.-China relations.
On Monday evening, the White House gave federal agencies a 30-day deadline to remove TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, from federal devices.
And later Tuesday, a new House select committee will hold its first hearing on the fast-widening U.S.-China rivalry.
The U.S. this week has warned that it would respond if China did decide to help its ally Russia with lethal aid.
U.S. officials 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.
New confrontations, along with rising tensions between U.S. and Chinese forces in Asia and escalating standoffs over Taiwan, are dramatizing a long-building and once theoretical superpower rivalry that is suddenly a daily reality.
Now sanctions against China are on the table.
It was not clear what specific sanctions Washington will propose. The conversations have not been previously disclosed.