President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met virtually on Friday after US officials issued a strong warning to Beijing not to provide military assistance to Russia to help it fight the war in Ukraine.
Although China has maintained neutrality in the crisis, US officials are afraid that Beijing may actively help Moscow’s military operations. According to US officials, Russia requested military weaponry and backing from China for the battle, which began on February 24.
Biden will make it clear to Xi Jinping that China “will face responsibility for any steps it takes to assist Russia’s aggressiveness, and we will not hesitate to impose consequences,” according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. China has denied receiving a request for military support from Moscow, as per Newsweek via MSN.
Xi Jinping says China opposes war but refuses to condemn Russia
Xi Jinping has developed a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, undermining US supremacy. Only weeks before the invasion, on February 4, Xi and Putin committed to a broad strategic alliance, and the nations’ relationship “knows no boundaries,” according to a joint statement.
China claimed that President Xi Jinping had proposed a six-point plan to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. According to a readout of the call, President Xi Jinping stressed that all parties must work together to encourage Russia and Ukraine in engaging in dialogue and negotiations that would lead to peace.
But he also asked NATO and the US to talk to Russia about the core of the Ukraine conflict, implying some sympathy for Moscow’s assertion that NATO expansion is causing it real concern.
The statement didn’t give blame to Russia but claimed that President Xi Jinping had stated that China does not want the situation to escalate to this stage and that China supports peace and opposes war, according to Daily Mail.