JOE Biden has told China that if they help Putin’s invasion of Ukraine they will face “consequences”.
The US president talked for almost two hours in a call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a bid to deter the leader from helping Vladimir Putin.
While President Xi has publicly said China are taking a neutral stance, the US are worried after Russia reportedly asked the Asian powerhouse for military assistance.
The White House said the two leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the two countries, reports Sky News.
An official statement from the White House said that Biden had laid out efforts to prevent and then respond to the invasion, including by sanctioning Russia.
It read: “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.”
However, the statement did not lay out any details on the “implications” or “consequences” that Biden mentioned.
According to Chinese state media, Xi said: “The top priorities now are to continue dialogue and negotiations, avoid civilian casualties, prevent a humanitarian crisis, cease fighting and end the war as soon as possible.”
He also added that the US and NATO should have discussions with Russia to solve the “crux” of the crisis.
China earlier accused the US of provoking Russia and fuelling the conflict by sending arms to Ukraine.
Foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, told reporters: “China has called for every effort to avoid civilian casualties all the time,”
“Which do the civilians in Ukraine need more: food and sleeping bags or machine guns and artillery? It’s easy to answer.”
The call between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies was the latest diplomatic attempt to end Russia’s war against its neighbour.
A senior US official said: “The two leaders spent the preponderance of their time discussing Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, as well as the implications of the crisis for US-China relations and the international order.”
Recently, Biden described Putin as a “murderous dictator” as his administration joined a host of other countries in accusing Russia of war crimes.
However, Russian leader Mr Putin has not called his military offensive a “war”, instead referring to it as a “special military operation”.
Earlier on Friday, Putin held a massive pro-war rally for the “reunification” of Crimea in front of a packed World Cup stadium.
President Biden says China will face ‘consequences’ if it gives weapons to Putin to help with Ukraine invasion| THE SUN