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US, China moment of decision in Rome

NEW YORK – A striking measure of how much the world has changed in two weeks is US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s journey to Rome Monday to meet with China’s top foreign policy official, Yang Jiechi.

Washington’s decision to seek China’s engagement in a war 7,000 kilometers away from Beijing gauges the depth of America’s strategic dilemma, as well as the importance of China’s economic power as a factor in world affairs.

The US has to choose a risky escalation of the conflict, including stepped-up weapons deliveries that might draw Russian fire, and a likely Russian victory. China by contrast has strong economic ties to both Ukraine as well as Russia, its trading partner of last resort (“Could China mediate the Ukraine war?”, March 9, 2022).

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