White House, State Department demand Beijing “denounce” Moscow ahead of Biden-Xi call
FILE PHOTO © AP / Susan Walsh
US President Joe Biden intends to share his “deep concerns” about China not denouncing Russia and the potential “implications and consequences” of that with Chinese President Xi Jinping in their upcoming call, the White House said on Thursday.
The call, scheduled for Friday, is “an opportunity for President Biden to assess where President Xi stands,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, pointing to the “absence of clear rhetoric and denunciation” of Russia in Beijing.
“The fact that China has not denounced what Russia is doing in and of itself speaks volumes,” not just in Russia and Ukraine but around the world, Psaki added.
The US believes “China in particular has the responsibility to use its influence with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday. Instead, China is “refusing to condemn this aggression while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter,” Blinken said.
Washington has accused Moscow of an unprovoked, unjustified attack on Ukraine. Russia has said it had to send troops to demilitarize and “denazify” the government in Kiev that sought NATO membership and nuclear weapons while rejecting peace in the Donbass.