Biden Warns Xi Jinping About China’s Support for Russia

  • US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke in a phone call on Tuesday.
  • The leaders discussed global conflicts, including China’s support for Russia over the war in Ukraine.
  • Russia has managed to maintain its economy in part thanks to its trade partnership with China.

US President Joe Biden warned Chinese leader Xi Jinping against his government’s continued support for Russia amid the war in Ukraine during a phone call between the two world leaders on Tuesday.

The conversation between Biden and Xi this week was the first time they spoke since meeting for a summit in California last November. A senior administration official told reporters in a phone call that the discussion was a “check-in” as the two countries try to manage growing global tensions, according to media reports.

Over the course of an hour and 45 minutes, Biden and Xi addressed several hot-button issues, including growing U.S. concerns about China’s trade partnership with Russia, two years after the start of the latter’s war in Ukraine, according to a report of the call from the White House.

More than two years after invading Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has managed to keep its economy alive, refocusing much of its trade from the West to the East and South, mainly in China and in India.

Despite distancing itself from the majority of the world, Russia continues to retain an economic ally in China, whose continued support helped Russia rebuild its defense industry at a crucial moment in the war.

Russia has managed to circumvent Western sanctions with the help of China, while Beijing becomes an alternative market for banned Russian oil. Some Russian companies have even seen a boom in business since the war thanks to lucrative trade deals with Chinese companies that buy Russian energy resources and supply Russia with machinery and vehicles as payment, according to a recent article in Reuters.

A report Last month, Russia’s Central Bank turned to the Chinese yuan for reserves and to avoid Western sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin even greeted Beijing shortly after winning re-election last month. Xi then congratulated Putin, issuing a statement affirming the legitimacy of this carefully organized election.

Biden and Xi also discussed on Tuesday numerous potential triggers for the tenuous relations between the two superpowers, including Taiwan, China’s provocations in the South China Sea and ongoing conflicts around the world, including the war in Israel and Gaza, according to media reports.

The two had previously spoken by telephone in July 2022 and met later that year in Bali.


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