STOCKHOLM — The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee said Friday that a partnership between the Russian and Chinese leaders worried him, adding, “We have never seen a threat this large scale to Europe and the Pacific, I would argue, since World War II.”
An alliance between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin “provides a very big challenge, I think, for the free world in this great power competition that we find ourselves in,” Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, said during a visit to Sweden.
The Biden administration has warned Xi's government of unspecified consequences if it supports the Kremlin's war effort in Ukraine. A United States intelligence report said Beijing possibly provided equipment used in Ukraine that might have military applications. The report cited Russian customs data that showed Chinese state-owned military contractors supplied navigation equipment, fighter jet parts, drones and other goods, but didn't say whether that might trigger U.S. retaliation.
China has stepped up purchases of Russian oil and gas, which helps Putin's government offset lost sales after the United States, Europe and Japan cut off most purchases of Russian energy. Beijing can do that without triggering Western sanctions on its own companies, but Washington and its allies are frustrated that it undercuts economic pressure on Moscow.
China rejects Western trade and financial sanctions…