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Shortly before the afternoon press briefing, the White House belatedly issued its call readout summary. The Chinese side had called for direct talks between NATO and Moscow to solve the Ukraine crisis, while the fresh White House readout says Biden warned Xi over the “implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians.”
Here’s the full White House text below:
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The conversation focused on Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. President Biden outlined the views of the United States and our Allies and partners on this crisis. President Biden detailed our efforts to prevent and then respond to the invasion, including by imposing costs on Russia. He described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians. The President underscored his support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis. The two leaders also agreed on the importance of maintaining open lines of communication, to manage the competition between our two countries. The President 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. The two leaders tasked their teams to follow up on today’s conversation in the critical period ahead.
Importantly, it appears the two leaders agreed that their teams would follow-up on further discussions toward pursuing agreed upon aspects of the talk.
President Biden spoke today with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China about Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/SnpgobFiPz
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 18, 2022
President Biden, who just passed me in the West Wing, tells me his nearly two hour call with President Xi “went well.”
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) March 18, 2022
The Chinese readout had said Xi told Biden, “The Ukraine crisis is something we don’t want to see. 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.”
And according to the latest from FT:
Xi Jinping warned Joe Biden against imposing “sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions” during a lengthy call on Friday as China’s leader fended off the threat of retaliation from Washington over its stance on the Ukraine war.
Meanwhile, defense officials say that Russia’s military still has a huge amount of troops to draw on, with the majority of forces still assembled near the border – said to be “still available” – a full three weeks after the initial invasion.
NEW: U.S. assesses that Russia still has approximately 90 percent of combat power arrayed on Ukraine’s border “still available” 3 weeks after invasion: senior U.S. defense official.
Russia assembled as many as 190,000 troops on Ukraine’s border before invading on Feb. 24.
— Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) March 18, 2022
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