Biden to speak with China's Xi Jinping about Russia
President Biden will speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday as "part of our ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication between the United States and the PRC," press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday.
Why it matters: Biden and Xi will in part discuss Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine after reports indicated that Moscow had asked China's government for military equipment and other assistance to support its war.
- Chinese officials said they were unaware of any request from Russian officials, though U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan this week warned China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi of "consequences" if Beijing materially supports the war.
- The U.S. has also accused China of assisting Russia in spreading false claims that the United States is financing biological weapons labs in Ukraine.
What they're saying: "The two Leaders will discuss managing the competition between our two countries as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern," Psaki said.
The big picture: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi have forged deeper economic and military ties over the past several years as tensions with the U.S. have soared.
- With Russia facing overwhelming economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe, Moscow will likely have to deepen its already significant economic reliance on Beijing — though it's an increasingly lopsided relationship, Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Dave Lawler report.
Go deeper: Europe's skepticism toward China grows