Beijing responds to US threats: China adheres to independent, neutral stance
China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson says some people in the US continue to spread false information and slander and pressure China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian affirmed Friday that Beijing adheres to an independent position on the Ukrainian crisis.
Commenting on Washington's threats to take action in event of China's support for Russia, Zhao pointed out that "regarding the Ukrainian issue, China has always made independent judgments based on the merits of the case in an objective and fair manner."
The Chinese diplomat added that some people in the US continue to spread false information and slander and pressure China, which is an extremely irresponsible behavior that does not help resolve the crisis.
"Beijing will face consequences" for supporting Russia
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US President Joe Biden will make clear to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, during their phone call scheduled for Friday that Beijing will face consequences for supporting the Russian operation in Ukraine.
Blinken called on China to use "whatever leverage they have to compel Moscow to end this war."
"Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction," he said, expressing his concern "that they're considering directly assisting Russia with military assistance."
Biden and Xi are set to discuss trade rows and snarled international supply chains, as well as the situation in Ukraine.
An opportunity to assess Xi's stands
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to have a phone call on Friday at 9:00 am (1300 GMT), marking their first since a video summit in November.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the call would be "an opportunity for President Biden to assess where President Xi stands."
Washington did not specify whether Biden will threaten China with sanctions during his call, but some sort of response is on the table.