United States President Joe Biden will make it clear to China that Washington will “impose costs” if Beijing supports Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday, according to AFP.
The statement came a day ahead of a phone call between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at 6.30 pm Indian Standard Time on Friday.
In the past few weeks, the US and many other European countries have announced several sanctions on Russia as a move against its attack on Ukraine.
But, Beijing has refused to condemn Moscow for its actions and abstained from voting against it in United Nations forums. Washington fears the Chinese could give full financial and even military support to Russia, according to AFP.
On Thursday, Blinken said that he was concerned that China was considering directly helping Russia with military assistance. The US secretary of state said he hoped China would use its leverage to make Russia stop the war.
“Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction,” Blinken added.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday that the United States administration was concerned about China’s alignment with Russia and its potential implications and consequences.
“This is an opportunity for President Biden to assess where President Xi stands,” Psaki said.
She added: “There has been, of course, rhetorical support, or the absence of clear rhetoric and denunciation – or the absence of denunciation by China of what Russia is doing. This flies in the face, of course, of everything China stands for, including the basic principles of the UN Charter, including the basic principles of respect for sovereignty of nations.”
Meanwhile, China described the US, and member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, and the western media as “very hypocritical” when asked about Beijing’s refusal to condemn Russia, reported The Hindu.
“When it comes to civilian casualties and humanitarian situation, I wonder if you [the US] were equally concerned about the people in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Palestine,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. “Do these civilians mean nothing to you?”
Zhao said that China’s position on the peace talks is consistent.
“You may refer to China’s statements on hotspot issues including Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Palestine and Israel,” he said.
The spokesperson also questioned if the NATO’s expansion in Europe had averted a war as it had claimed.
“The key to solving the Ukraine crisis is in the hands of the US and NATO,” Zhao added. “We hope the US and NATO, the culprits of the crisis, can reflect upon their roles in the Ukraine crisis.”