- The White House signalled that Biden will warn Xi Jinping against bolstering his ally Vladimir Putin in his war mission.
- Blinken said China had a responsibility to use its influence with Putin and to defend international rules, but it appeared Beijing was “moving in the opposite direction”.
- China’s official Xinhua news agency said the call would happen in the evening Beijing time.
For the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine over three weeks ago, US President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday as reported by The Guardian.
The White House signalled that Biden will warn Xi Jinping against bolstering his ally Vladimir Putin in his war mission.
The two leaders will talk as Washington warned China was considering military support for Russia’s war, a step that would dramatically widen the gulf between Beijing and Western governments, Reuters writes.
The news agency further reports: The call, first announced by the White House on Thursday, comes at a pivotal moment in US-China relations – and in Ukraine, where heavily outnumbered local forces have prevented Moscow from capturing any of the country’s biggest cities so far.
The Biden administration has issued public and private warnings that Beijing would face dire consequences if it provides material support to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.
“President Biden will be speaking to President Xi tomorrow and 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 told a news briefing in Washington.
Blinken said China had a responsibility to use its influence with Putin and to defend international rules, but it appeared Beijing was “moving in the opposite direction”.
“We’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine,” he said, officially confirming for the first time reports earlier in the week that US officials believed China had signalled its willingness to provide Moscow with such support.
Blinken did not elaborate on what the costs might be to China, and Washington has not yet offered evidence of the claim that China has signalled a willingness to help Russia.
Moscow has denied asking China for military assistance, and China’s foreign ministry has called the idea “disinformation”.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki characterised the call as “an opportunity for President Biden to assess where President Xi stands”.
“The fact that China has not denounced what Russia is doing, absence of denunciation by China of what Russia is doing in and of itself speaks volumes,” Psaki said.
China’s official Xinhua news agency said the call would happen in the evening Beijing time.
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Source: The Guardian