President Joe Biden and some U.S. government officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Press Secretary Jen Psaki, have consecutively warned China against aiding Russia following Ukraine’s invasion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a press briefing about the situation in Ukraine on March 17, in which he warned that the United States would punish China if Beijing provided military support to Russia in the war against Ukraine.

Blinken said, “It appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter.”

He added, “We’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine.”

The briefing was held in Washington D.C. just before the meeting between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on March 18.

The state secretary said that the U.S. would continue to stand with Ukraine and provide life-saving aid to the Ukrainian people as the country fights for its future while increasing the costs on Russia until it ends the war.

At a briefing of the White House held on the same day, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “We have made clear our deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia,” and added, “the response to that would be consequences.”

One day after the briefings of the two officials, President Joe Biden had a call to China’s President Xi Jinping.

According to NPR, a White House official informed that President Biden had a nearly two-hour phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on March 18.

A readout of Biden’s call released by the White House showed that Biden “described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians.”

It added, “The President underscored his support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.”

The readout also disclosed that Biden “reiterated that U.S. policy on Taiwan has not changed, and emphasized that the United States continues to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo.”

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