US President Joe Biden is to swap his Chinese counterpart, as the war in Ukraine began more than three weeks ago.
Setting the scene a few hours before an exchange between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, the United States said Thursday that China would expose itself to reprisals if it were to “support Russian aggression” against Ukraine.
“We are concerned that they are planning to directly assist Russia with military equipment that would be used in Ukraine. President Biden will speak to President Xi tomorrow, and will make it clear to him that China will bear responsibility for any act aimed at supporting Russian aggression, and that we will not hesitate to impose costs on it,” US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said on Thursday.
“We see with concern that China is considering giving Russia direct military assistance,” he added.
“Keep the communication channels open”
It is the clearest warning issued by the United States to China since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, and it comes a few hours before a conversation between the American and Chinese presidents, scheduled for Friday.
This meeting, the fourth between the two leaders since Joe Biden is president, aims to “keep the channels of communication open between the United States and the People’s Republic of China”, said in a press release the spokeswoman of the US executive Jen Psaki.
The two leaders will discuss “competition” between Washington and Beijing “as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern.”