(Tony Sifert, Headline USA) In a two-hour video call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Joe Biden warned that China would face “stiff consequences” if it offered economic or military support to Russia, the Associated Press reported.
President Biden spoke today with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China about Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/SnpgobFiPz
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 18, 2022
“[President Biden] described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians,” the White House reported in its “readout” of the call.
“This was really about President Biden being able to lay out very clearly in substantial detail, with a lot of facts, really walking President Xi through the situation, making very, very clear our views,” an administration official told reporters after the call, according to The Guardian.
.@PressSec to @kaitlancollins on Russia’s request for military equipment: “The president detailed what the implications and consequences would be if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians.” pic.twitter.com/FHKcwzIV0a
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 18, 2022
According to the AP, however, President Jinping responded by blaming the United States for the conflict, and cited a Chinese proverb to that effect.
“He who tied the bell to the tiger must take it off,” Xi is alleged to have said.
Jinping also criticized the United States’ practice of issuing “sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions” that “would only make the people suffer,” inews reported.
The White House made no mention of that aspect of Xi’s response.
“The two leaders . . . agreed on the importance of maintaining open lines of communication, to manage the competition between our two countries,” the official readout reported.
Russia has asked China for military and economic assistance as it continues its campaign against the Ukraine, according to the New York Times.
In early February, the presidents of Russia and China signed a joint statement in which they claimed that there were “no limits” or “forbidden areas of cooperation” between their respective countries.