Biden to warn Xi about 'costs' of supporting Russia spec op
The United States will warn China against supporting Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, citing "consequences" if Beijing backs Moscow.
US President Joe Biden, during an upcoming phone call, will tell his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, about the consequences awaiting Beijing if it supports Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.
"We believe China, in particular, has a responsibility to use its influence on President Putin and to defend the International rules and principles that it professes to support," Blinken told a press conference.
However, Blinken continued, China was "moving in the opposite direction" by refusing to condemn Moscow's operation, accusing Beijing of seeking to "portray itself as a neutral arbiter." The top diplomat voiced Washington's concerns over China supplying military equipment to Russia for the latter to use during its operation.
President Biden will hold a phone call with President Xi on Friday, Blinken revealed, asserting that the democrat would "make clear that China will bear responsibility" if it takes any action to show support for Russia's operation, "and we will not hesitate to impose costs."
China had formerly voiced opposition to the use of sanctions as a way of resolving disputes.
The Chinese Embassy in the US had revealed that its main priority was to prevent the tense situation in Ukraine from getting out of control, in response to media reports that Moscow requested from Beijing military equipment since the start of the military operation.
Same goes for Russia
According to Blinken, Washington will continue to increase costs on Russia until Moscow withdraws from Ukraine.
"We'll continue to increase the costs on Russia until it ends this war of choice," he said.
The "costs" in question could simply be more sanctions, which the United States has been excelling at, targeting Russia's vital sectors, from banking to energy and steel exports.
US maintains close contact with Kiev
"We are in close contact as I said with Ukraine’s leaders, including in my case Foreign Minister Kuleba. We are in close contact with other countries that have in one way or another been engaging in diplomacy," Blinken said.