Biden, Xi speaks as the United States threatens actions if China supports Russia in the Ukraine war
Biden, Xi speaks as the United States threatens actions if China supports Russia in the Ukraine war

Biden, Xi speaks as the United States threatens actions if China supports Russia in the Ukraine war

WASHINGTON – President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping conferred on Friday amid growing hostility over Ukraine, and what the United States says is Beijing’s inability to join other leading nations in condemning Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.

During a nearly two-hour video conference, Mr. Xi tried to present China as a peacemaker. “The crisis in Ukraine is something we do not want to see,” he told Mr. The bite, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency. “Conflict and confrontation are not in anyone’s interest.”

Mr. The bite on its part was expected to threaten repercussions should China provide military or financial assistance to Russia, U.S. officials said ahead of the call.

Ukraine – and Mr. Xi’s close partnership with Russian President

Vladimir Putin

– has added friction to a relationship between the United States and China that is already controversial and running out of trust, and both sides have hardened their rhetoric in recent weeks.

‘The claim that China is on the wrong side of history is overbearing. It is the United States that is on the wrong side of history, “Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying tweeted Friday morning, accusing the United States of provoking Russia.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have become close in the past decade, toasting with vodka and exchanging friendship medals. As the West sanctions Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, China could help, but only to a certain extent. Photo illustration: Sharon Shi

The United States has said Beijing has a responsibility to use its influence with Mr Putin to seek an end to the war. Mr. However, Xi sought to present China as a neutral party to the conflict and one that could facilitate negotiations to bring it to an end, according to foreign policy experts close to the Chinese government.

In China’s official version of the meeting, which was released shortly after its conclusion, Mr Xi urged Biden to work with China to not only lead the development of China-US relations on the right path, but also to take on our due international responsibility and work for world peace. ”

After being taken by surprise in the early days of Russia’s attack, foreign policy experts close to the Chinese government said that Beijing has now embarked on a clearer strategy: It will not oppose Russia and it will support Ukraine – what is described in China as “charitable neutrality”.

The calibrated attitude reflects that Mr Xi is sticking to his strategic focus on makes common cause with Russia to undermine the US-led West while still trying to present China as a responsible world leader.

Without more material action, however, it is unlikely that Beijing’s position will satisfy the Biden administration, international affairs said, and stop the deterioration in relations between China and the United States.

“The Biden-Xi call could be a turning point in US-China relations,” said Neil Thomas, an analyst at Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm. If the two sides find common ground on Ukraine, he said, then it could stabilize tensions.

“But if Biden gets nothing from Xi, or if there are diplomatic fireworks, then the call could herald a new low in modern US-China relations,” Thomas said.

Beijing has so far refused to criticize Russia or even to label its actions in Ukraine as an invasion, and to express sympathy with the security concerns Moscow has cited as one of the causes of the military attack. China has also been shown to coordinate with Russia over what the United States says is disinformation, with Chinese Foreign Ministry officials reinforcing Russian claims that the United States supports research into biological weapons in Ukraine. In addition, China has criticized the severe economic sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Russia.


Do you expect China to change its alignment with Russia? Why or why not? Join the conversation below.

China has rejected U.S. claims that Russia has sought their help, either by providing military equipment or financial assistance. The White House has refused to elaborate on these allegations or what punishment it would impose if China were to help Moscow.

Sir. Xi was also expected to seek assurances about Taiwan, a US partner and democratically controlled island, which Beijing says it ultimately intends to absorb, by force, if necessary. The Biden administration has continued arms sales to Taiwan and sent a delegation there Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine.

As part of the sparring around Taiwan, a Chinese aircraft carrier and a destroyer from the U.S. Navy sailed through the Taiwan Strait in a few separate, sensitive maneuvers Thursday and Friday.

Write to Alex Leary at [email protected] and Lingling Wei at [email protected]

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