US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that he expects China would condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because Beijing has spent so much time in the past speaking about the “sanctity” of national sovereignty. The comments came one day after Blinken spoke about the war in Ukraine with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and reflect growing frustration in Washington about Beijing’s continued refusal to denounce Russia for invading its neighbour and starting a war that has already killed thousands of civilians. Blinken told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he told Wang “that China speaks often about the sanctity of this principle of sovereignty”. “And so we would expect China, based on everything it’s said in the past, to stand up and make its voice heard,” Blinken said. “Its voice is very important in this.” Blinken was speaking from Moldova in the middle of a whirlwind trip across Europe to huddle with officials from Ukraine and other neighbouring countries that have already taken in well over a million refugees since Moscow’s military action began on February 24. Ukraine crisis: US presses China to denounce the invasion The comments reflect the deep suspicion in Washington that Beijing – despite its persistent rhetoric claiming to support the principles of sovereignty – has not done anything to stop Moscow’s invasion, and may have even given tacit support before the invasion started while Russian troops were amassing on Ukraine’s borders. Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin pledged a “no limits” partnership just weeks before the war began, even as officials in Washington were warning Beijing that Moscow had imminent plans to invade.