WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden issued a warning to Chinese President Xi Jinping over China’s support for Russia amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, saying there would be here consequences for Beijing if the country provided “material support” for Russia.
Biden spoke to President Xi for nearly two hours on Friday, raising concerns over China’s offer of assistance to Russia during the war and gave an assessment of how the United States sees the current situation in Ukraine unfolding.
“President Biden detailed our efforts to prevent and then respond to the invasion, including by imposing costs on Russia,” a White House official said. “He described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians.”
However, a senior administration official said Biden did not make any specific request of Xi.
WH readout of @POTUS’ call w/ Xi. Biden "described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities & civilians. The President underscored his support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis." pic.twitter.com/5MYiKckaPW
— Stephen Michael (@stephenreports) March 18, 2022
“The president really wasn’t making specific requests of China,” said the official. “He was laying out the assessment of the situation, what he thinks makes sense, and the implications of certain actions. You know, I think our view is that China will make its own decisions.”
China has avoided condemning Putin’s attack on Ukraine or calling it an invasion, saying calling it the “situation” in Ukraine in a statement of the call between the two leaders.
In the statement, Chinese officials blamed the United States and said the U.S. and its Western allies should respect Russia’s “legitimate security concerns”, while adding fuel to the Russian conspiracy theory the U.S. is funding chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday declined to give details on what the specific consequences would be for China that Biden mentioned in the call.
“China has to make a decision for themselves, about where they want to stand and how they want the history books to look at them and view their actions,” Psaki said.