Chinese President Xi Jinping has received a warning from US President Joe Biden. According to the American leader, if Beijing violates sanctions imposed by a coalition of countries against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, it will damage the investment climate.
Although there is no indication that China has actively supported the Russian war effort with weapons sales, Biden said he told Xi that violating the sanctions would be a “gigantic mistake.”
During an interview with CBS, Biden said he delivered the warning in a phone call shortly after Xi met with Putin at the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 4.
“I called President Xi — not to threaten at all, just to say to him… that if you think Americans and others will continue to invest in China, based on your violating the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, I think you’re making a gigantic mistake,” CBS quoted Biden as saying.
“Thus far, there’s no indication they put forward weapons or other things that Russia has wanted,” he added.
Dismissing the notion that the Chinese-Russian alliance effectively means the United States is fighting a new kind of Cold War, Biden requested Russian President Vladimir Putin to forgo the use of nuclear weapons in the wake of setbacks in Ukraine.
Putting Putin under pressure from nationalists at home to regain the initiative, Ukraine’s military drove back Russian forces in a lightning rout in the northeast of the country this week.
Resulting in the ongoing devastation of cities and towns across much of the country, Russia invaded its pro-Western neighbour Ukraine on February 24.
While their alliance is unequal and its future far from clear, Xi and Putin have talked up the Beijing-Moscow relationship as the new centre of a multipolar world.
Beijing has every claim to be the senior partner in an unbalanced relationship as it has a GDP and population that are both around 10 times greater than those of its neighbour.
Never condemning the assault but also stopping short of expressing any backing for it, China has remained relatively tight-lipped about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
With a border dispute over islands in the Amur River bringing the two sides to the brink of war in 1969, there were tensions in Soviet times when both Beijing and Moscow were supposed to be Communist allies.
(With inputs from agencies)
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