The United States has threatened China with “serious consequences” for helping Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued the warning to Beijing during a news conference on Thursday. The 76-year-old said that Chinese efforts to support Russia were a “very serious concern”, adding Beijing should not help Moscow evade US sanctions.

Yellen said: “We will certainly continue to make clear to the Chinese Government and the companies and banks in their jurisdiction about what the rules are regarding our sanctions and the serious consequences they would face for violating them.”

The ex-Federal Reserve chair also warned that the US would “continue to impose further sanctions on Russia” and would curb the Kremlin’s ability to evade sanctions which are already in place.

Washington has been cautious about Sino-Russian relations since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, claiming Beijing-backed firms have provided “non-lethal support” to Moscow.

The US also imposed sanctions on a Chinese company which allegedly provided satellite imagery in support of Russian mercenary troops fighting in Ukraine.

Trade flows between Russia and China also suggest Beijing has helped Moscow in recent months, with overall trade hitting a record $190billion in 2022.

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi visited Moscow this week as he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Following the meeting, Wang said: “China is ready to work with Russia to maintain the good momentum of the new type of relations between major countries.”

Addressing Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, he added: “[China] will, as always, uphold its objective and just position, and play its constructive role for the crisis’ political settlement.”

Wang continued: “Efforts for peace should not wane while the situation’s complexity grows.”

Despite Yellen’s comments about China, Russia continues with its onslaught against Ukraine.