https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-xi-video-call-russia-war-in-ukraine

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President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on a secure video call for nearly two hours Friday morning, discussing Russia’s war against Ukraine and “other issues of mutual concern.” 

Biden took the call, which started at 9:03 a.m. ET, in the White House Situation Room. The call concluded at 10:53 a.m. ET. 

The White House previewed the call as part of the administration’s “ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication” between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). 

The White House said Biden and Xi would discuss “managing the competition” between the U.S. and China. and “Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern.” 

RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE: LIVE UPDATES 

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the meeting said Xi underscored the “severe challenges” around the globe. 

FILE – President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, on Nov. 15, 2021. 
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

“The Ukraine crisis is something we don’t want to see,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry reported Xi said. “Relevant events once again show that state-to-state relations cannot go to the point of confrontation. Conflict and confrontation are not in anyone’s interests. Peace and security are the most treasured treasures of the international community.” 

“As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the world’s two largest economies, we must not only lead the development of China-US relations on the right track, but also shoulder our due international responsibilities and make efforts for world peace and tranquility,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said. 

RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE: LIVE UPDATES 

U.S. intelligence officials said Russia asked China for military and economic aid following its invasion of Ukraine. In an attempt to protect intelligence sources, U.S. officials have been reluctant to detail what type of aid is being sought.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and International Olympic Committee IOC President Thomas Bach attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 20, 2022. (Photo by Li Xueren/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Chinese President Xi Jinping and International Olympic Committee IOC President Thomas Bach attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 20, 2022. (Photo by Li Xueren/Xinhua via Getty Images)

A senior administration official said this week that the Biden administration has “deep concerns” about China’s “alignment” with Russia amid Moscow’s multi-front war against Ukraine.

The official shared those concerns after White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with his Chinese counterpart, director of Chinese Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi, Monday in Rome, Italy.

“We do have deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia at this time, and the national security adviser was direct about those concerns and the potential implications and consequences of certain actions,” the official said, without commenting directly to the reports that Russia had requested aid from China after invading Ukraine.

The official, though, maintained that the Biden administration is “communicating directly and privately to China about our concerns about the kinds of support that other countries might be providing to Russia.”

BIDEN ADMIN HAS ‘DEEP CONCERNS’ ABOUT CHINA’S ‘ALIGNMENT’ WITH RUSSIA AMID WAR AGAINST UKRAINE, OFFICIAL SAYS

China has yet to condemn the invasion, though an official praised the Ukrainian people on Wednesday. 

“We will always respect your state, we will develop relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. We will respect the path chosen by Ukrainians, because this is the sovereign right of every nation,” China’s ambassador to Ukraine, Fan Xiangong, who relocated with the Chinese embassy from Kyiv to Lviv after Russian forces invaded on Feb. 24, told Lviv officials on Monday, according to the Lviv regional government.

“In this situation, which you have now, we will act responsibly. We have seen how great the unity of the Ukrainian people is, and that means its strength,” Fan added. 

German news outlet BILD reported that Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov was halfway to Beijing Wednesday night when his plane turned around abruptly and returned to Moscow. It’s unclear if Putin called him back or if Chinese abruptly canceled any planned meeting. Fox News has not yet independently verified the report. 

The White House, this week, warned China of “consequences” should Beijing provide aid to Russia. 

“The world is watching closely,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “There will be consequences should they violate our sanctions.” 

But Russia has denied reports claiming they made the request for aid from China, and China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian dismissed allegations Beijing agreed to send such aid to Russia as “misinformation.” He maintained that China remains “completely objective, impartial and constructive,” on the “Ukraine issue,” refusing to call the conflict a “war.” 

RUSSIA ASKED CHINA FOR MILITARY, ECONOMIC AID IN UKRAINE CONFLICT FOLLOWING INVASION

Zhao has also repeated the Russian line about U.S.-backed Ukrainian laboratories near the border creating bioweapons – claims Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have all unequivocally denied. 

The White House warned last week that Russia could use “chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine” or could create a “false flag operation” using them, after the Kremlin accused the U.S. of being involved in biological weapons research at Ukrainian labs, and said they have seen “Chinese officials echo these conspiracy theories.”

And a senior defense official also said Russia’s allegations against the U.S. are “a piece of the Russian playbook here: claim they’re the victims, create a false narrative to try to justify their own aggressive actions.” 

WHITE HOUSE WARNS OF ‘CONSEQUENCES’ IF CHINA PROVIDES AID TO RUSSIA: ‘THE WORLD IS WATCHING CLOSELY’

“It is absurd. It is laughable. It is untrue,” the official said. 

This week, Sullivan, speaking with the secretary of the Russian Security Council on Wednesday, called for Russia to “stop attacking” Ukrainian cities and towns, and warned of “consequences” should Russia decide to use any chemical or biological weapons on Ukraine.

Sullivan spoke with Gen. Nikolay Patrushev on Wednesday as Ukraine and Russia continued talks on the current crisis.

Zelenskyy delivered an address to Congress Wednesday during which he showed a video demonstrating the death and destruction suffered by Ukrainian civilians, especially women, children and the elderly as Russian troops have bombarded cities and advanced toward the capital of Kyiv in the three weeks since the invasion began. 

In response, Biden announced an additional $800 million in military aid for Ukraine on Wednesday, amounting to a total of $1 billion in U.S. aid allocated since Saturday. 

BIDEN APPROVES MORE ANTI-AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS, DRONES FOR UKRAINE, WARNS OF ‘LONG AND DIFFICULT BATTLE’

The new package includes 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems; 2,000 Javelins, 1,000 light anti-armor weapons and 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems; 100 unmanned drones; 100 grenade launchers, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, and 400 shotguns; more than 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenade launcher and mortar rounds; 25,000 sets of body armor; and 25,000 helmets. The equipment will be transferred directly from the Department of Defense to the Ukrainian military, Biden said.

Friday’s call was the fourth engagement between the U.S. and Chinese presidents since Biden took office. 

Biden and Xi last spoke during a virtual meeting on Nov. 15. 

Senior administration officials told Fox News that during that call, Biden did not explicitly discuss the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic Xi, but instead maintained the importance of “transparency” in global health matters, focusing on “broader health security issues” in an effort to bring “an end” to the pandemic.

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