The White House said Thursday an upcoming telephone call between the presidents of the US and China is an “opportunity” to assess Beijing’s stance on the Ukraine war.
Joe Biden will speak to Xi Jinping on Friday, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss Russia’s war on Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern.
“The absence of denunciation by China of what Russia is doing, this flies in the face, of course, of everything China stands for,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at a news conference.
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Biden will see “how President Xi sees the role of China” in the conflict, she said.
The call was “mutually agreed” to during National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s meeting Monday with his Chinese counterpart, according to Psaki.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier that Biden will make clear that “China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support” Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and “we will not hesitate to impose costs.”
China refuses to condemn Russia’s aggression and portrays itself as a neutral arbiter, according to Washington.
Russia began its war against Ukraine on Feb. 24. It has drawn international condemnation, led to sweeping financial sanctions and export controls on Moscow and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.
At least 780 civilians have been killed and 1,252 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UN, which emphasizes that the true number is likely much higher.
More than 3.2 million people have also fled to neighboring countries, according to UN figures.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk