Biden-Xi video meet: US warns China of consequences
In a face-to-face call by video, President Joe Biden laid out to Chinese President Xi Jinping on 18 March 2022, the stiff consequences the Chinese would face from the US if they provide military or economic assistance for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Biden warned Chinese leader Xi Jinping that China and its relations with the US would suffer consequences if Beijing provides substantive assistance to Russia in its military assault on Ukraine.
The White House said in a readout, “President Biden detailed our efforts to prevent and then respond to the invasion, including by imposing costs on Russia. He described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians.”
On the other, hand Xi blamed the US for the crisis and insisted with a Chinese proverb that the next move was up to Biden: “He who tied the bell to the tiger must take it off,” Xi said, according to a Chinese government readout.
More formally after the nearly two-hour conversation, China’s Foreign Ministry deplored “conflict and confrontation” as “not in anyone’s interest,” but assigned no blame to Russia and said nothing of next steps.
The White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “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.” She has declined to detail possible consequences Biden specified to the Chinese president if his country provides support for the Russian invasion.
But a senior administration official said that Biden pointed to the economic isolation that Russia has faced — including economy-battering sanctions and major Western corporations suspending operations — as he sought to underscore the costs that China might suffer.
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