White House officials say Biden’s call was “direct, it was substantive and it was detailed,” and also claimed that Biden spoke on his support for things being resolved, and a current review of the Russian invasion.
“The president really wasn’t making specific requests of China,” a senior official said. “He was laying out the assessment of the situation, what he thinks makes sense, and the implications of certain actions. You know, I think our view is that China will make its own decisions.”
Earlier in the week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was concerned that China could potentially send assistance to Russia amid the invasion.
“We believe China in particular has a responsibility to use its influence on President Putin and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support,” Blinken said. “Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this oppression, while seeking to portray itself as a metal arbiter. We’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine.”
Chinese officials have called for a peaceful resolution, NBC shares, but China itself has not called the situation in Ukraine an invasion yet. White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not clarify what consequences Biden had in mind for China if it were to offer “material support.”