• Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are scheduled to talk for the first time.
  • It has backed Russian assertions that the US has been covertly working on biological weapons in Ukraine.
  • The relationship between China and Russia has grown closer in recent years.
  • China is unlikely to back away from its ambitious objective.

An Important Call

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are scheduled to talk for the first time since November for their first one-on-one meetings since the conflict in Ukraine escalated into a full-fledged military conflict. The White House announced that Biden and Xi will talk by phone at 13:00 GMT on Friday, amid concerns that China would contemplate offering military assistance to Russia.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Biden would use the conversation to “make plain that China will bear responsibility for any steps it takes to encourage Russia’s aggression” and that such acts would have “costs.” Blinken briefed reporters earlier.

To Protect International Standards

The Chinese government “in particular” must utilize its influence with President Putin and “to protect the international standards and ideals that it aspires to embrace,” he said. China, which has deep ties with both Moscow and Kyiv, has not imposed sanctions on Russia for the invasion, even though the two nations have a long history of cooperation.

To maintain diplomatic etiquette, it has highlighted Ukraine’s sovereignty while avoiding outright condemnation of Russia and advocating for peace talks.

The Chinese leader wants a “healthy and stable” dialogue with the president of the United States.

Stance on Biological Weapons

As a result, it has backed Russian assertions that the US has been covertly working on biological weapons in Ukraine and emphasized that Russia has valid security concerns that need to be addressed. Neither the United States of America nor the United Nations have accepted these claims.

‘Quiet Clumsily’

Katrina Yu, Al Jazeera’s reporter in Beijing, said that China had attempted “quite clumsily” to remain impartial from the commencement of the invasion. According to it, both Moscow and Kyiv are close friends, and it hasn’t taken a position.”

It claims to be a neutral participant who is just interested in promoting discussion. Despite this, Beijing has made it plain that it aims to maintain its “limitless” and “rock strong” relationship with Russia.

According to spokesperson Zhao Lijian, the Chinese government’s viewpoint is constant, and anyone who claims otherwise is wrong.

President Joe Biden gestures toward Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan during an arrival ceremony in Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan are traveling to Washington for a State Visit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Uncomfortable Feelings

There should be ‘uncomfortable’ feelings for countries that think they can lord it over the world after winning the Cold War, that keep driving NATO eastward five times without regard for other countries’ security concerns, and that wage wars around the world while accusing other countries of being belligerent, he told reporters.

The relationship between China and Russia has grown closer in recent years, but Beijing has never accepted Russia’s claim to Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014.

After conducting combined military and naval drills at the close of 2017, the two nations came out strongly against NATO expansion on February 4 in a 5,000-word statement they released.

Putin, who seems to have built a personal relationship with Xi, was in Beijing for the opening of the Winter Olympics soon before the invasion. Since 2013, they’ve had over 30 encounters.

Very Critical Event

Biden’s phone contact with Xi was a “very critical event,” according to Samir Puri, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies since it signaled that the United States was launching “a diplomatic effort” to embarrass China for its “fairly neutral attitude” on Ukraine.

With this conversation, President Joe Biden is likely to use the information he obtained from US intelligence regarding the Russian request for Chinese military help to criticize the Chinese leadership for not turning their backs on Russia during the Russian invasion.”

China is unlikely to back away from its ambitious objective of strengthening its already extensive commercial connections with Russia, according to Puri, though.

The call between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will be their first in months.

China’s Indirect Support for Russia

Due to open trade with Russia – including the purchase of Russian crude oil and gas – China is indirectly supporting Russia, and I believe it is wishful thinking to believe that China would renounce its economic relationship with Russia even if it stepped back in terms of providing new military assistance and equipment.

It comes after a protracted discussion between China’s Central Foreign Affairs Commission Chief Yang Jiechi and US National Security Agency director Jake Sullivan in Rome on Monday.

On Taiwan

There was a “frank, in-depth, and productive” discussion on Taiwan during the meeting in China, according to the Chinese government. Biden and Xi may have discussed China’s claim to a self-ruled island, which Yu believes was on the agenda.

Visiting Taiwan earlier this month, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington had to recognize Taiwan as a “free and independent” country. This enraged Beijing.

With official diplomatic ties with Beijing still in place, the United States has adopted a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about Taiwan.

It is stipulated under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 that the United States government aims to “preserve and foster wide, close and cordial economic, cultural, and other relations” between the American and Taiwanese populations.

In recent years, Taiwan has increased its weaponry deliveries to the island as a response to Beijing’s growing threat (Al-Jazeera, 2022).

References

Al-Jazeera. (2022, March 18). Al Jazeera. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/18/biden-and-xi-to-talk-on-phone-as-us-presses-china-over-russia

 

 

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