Biden to warn Xi against supporting Russia in Friday call

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WASHINGTON – United States President Joe Biden will warn Chinese President Xi Jinping against supporting Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, stated the Biden administration forward of Friday’s call between the 2 leaders.

The call will occur in the night Beijing time, in accordance to Chinese state information company Xinhua, which stated that “China-US relations and issues of common concern” could be mentioned.

Mr Biden “will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken advised reporters on Thursday (March 17).

The digital assembly immediately follows up from Monday’s assembly between US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s high diplomat Yang Jiechi, stated White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday.

Mr Sullivan had conveyed the identical issues about Chinese help for Russia at Monday’s assembly, a seven-hour lengthy session which passed off in Rome. 

On Thursday, Mr Blinken stated the US believes China “has a responsibility to use its influence on President Putin, and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support”. 

“Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression, while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter,” stated Mr Blinken.

“We’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment used in Ukraine,” he added, in the primary official affirmation of media stories that the US had advised allies China was keen to help Russia with army provides.

The claims had been denied by Chinese ambassador to the US Qin Gang, in a commentary revealed by the Washington Post on Tuesday.

“Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation,” he wrote.

“Conflict between Russia and Ukraine does no good for China. Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it.”

Ms Psaki stated that Friday’s assembly shall be “an opportunity for President Biden to assess where President Xi stands” on the battle in Ukraine.

“The fact that China has not denounced what Russia is doing in and of itself speaks volumes…around the world,” she stated throughout a press briefing.

“We have made clear our deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia and the potential implications and consequences of that,” she added. “The President will also share his assessment of that during the call.”

The two leaders final spoke immediately in a video call in November final 12 months.

The White House stated in a press release that Friday’s call was a part of ongoing efforts to keep open traces of communication between the US and China. 

“The two leaders will discuss managing the competition between our two countries as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern,” it stated.

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