March 25, 2022
The Biden administration has pressured China to refrain from supporting Russia, including helping it counter Western sanctions and providing military assistance
US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that China knows its economic future is tied to the West, after warning Chinese leader Xi Jinping that Beijing may regret siding with Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.
“I didn’t make any threats but I made it clear to him — I made sure he understood the consequences of helping Russia,” Biden told reporters of his Friday call with Xi.
“I highlighted the number of American and foreign companies that left Russia because of their barbaric behavior.”
The Biden administration has pressured China to refrain from supporting Russia, including helping it counter Western sanctions and providing military assistance.
China has not condemned Russia’s action in Ukraine, although it has expressed deep concern about the war as well as Western sanctions, which it sees as counterproductive and one-sided.
Biden’s comments underscored the economic interdependence of China and the United States, its biggest trading partner.
It’s a lever Washington wants to use to steer China away from Russia after the two countries announced a “limitless” strategic partnership in February.
But any sanctions or other countermeasures against Beijing would also have spillover effects on the US economy, experts say.
Yet there are already signs that the Sino-Russian relationship could hurt foreign investment in China.
According to the Institute of International Finance, there have been significant capital flows from the country since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
“China understands that its economic future is much more tied to the West than to Russia,” Biden said at a press conference on the sidelines of emergency meetings in Europe on the war in Ukraine.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell