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Biden to speak with Xi today

Published : 17 Mar 2022 09:42 PM | Updated : 17 Mar 2022 09:58 PM

President Biden will speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping on today, the White House said, as the U.S. tries to manage China's ties to Russia amid the ongoing operation of Ukraine.

The discussion is part of "ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication between" the U.S. and China, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. 

"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," she said.

Mr. Biden and Xi last spoke in November for a virtual summit that lasted more than three hours. Their call Friday follows a meeting between White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and China's Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday, which was described by a senior administration official as an "intense, seven-hour session."

The official said the Biden administration has "deep concerns about China's alignment with Russia" as it continues its attacks in Ukraine, and Sullivan was "direct" about the consequences of "certain actions."

In an official readout of the meeting, the White House Sullivan "raised a range of issues in U.S.-China relations, with substantial discussion of Russia's war against Ukraine" and underscored the "importance of maintaining open lines of communication" between the U.S. and China.

While many countries have distanced themselves from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine three weeks ago, and the U.S. and the West have united in imposing steep costs on Moscow for its war, Russia has turned to China for support and sought military aid and equipment, two U.S. officials told CBS News earlier this week.

Chinese and Russian officials each denied that Moscow sought assistance from Beijing.