US President Joe Biden and President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Xi Jinping intend to call on Friday, March 18 at 09:00 am Washington time. The heads of state will personally discuss the situation in Ukraine.
“This is part of our ongoing effort to maintain open lines of communication between the United States and the PRC. The two leaders will discuss the management of competition between our two countries, as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual interest,” the White House said in a press release.
On March 17, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Biden would warn Xi Jinping in a telephone conversation about the consequences of supporting the Russian operation.
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden expected to receive clarification from Chinese President Xi Jinping about Beijing’s position on Russia’s special operation. In addition, she noted that any assistance from China to Russia is of great concern to the United States.
At the same time, the official representative of the Ministry of Commerce of China, Gao Feng, said that China opposed US sanctions against Russia. He noted that China is against unilateral sanctions that do not take into account international law, which destabilize the global market. He also stressed that the PRC will definitely take the necessary measures and protect the legal rights, as well as the interests of its companies engaged in ordinary trading activities.
Earlier, on March 13, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the US authorities informed China that if China tries to help Russia compensate for losses from Western sanctions, it will face “certain consequences.”
Sanctions against Russia were imposed by Western countries after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24 the launch of an operation to protect civilians in the Donbass. As his press secretary Dmitry Peskov clarified then, the special operation has two goals – the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. According to him, both of these aspects pose a threat to the Russian state and people. The Russian side also emphasized that it does not hatch plans for the occupation of Ukrainian territory, and strikes are carried out only on the military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.