At a no-media virtual meeting on Friday, March 18, President Joe Biden pressed China to refrain from giving Russia any assistance in the Ukraine conflict.

Discussing the event, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “We have that concern. The President detailed what the implications and consequences would be if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians. And that is something we’ll be watching and the world will be watching.”

About the penalties the U.S. was readying for Beijing, Reuters reported that Psaki said, “Sanctions are certainly one tool in the tool box.”

According to a senior administration official who briefed reporters about the meeting, Biden said Beijing could face stern responses from the U.S. and other world powers if it would decide otherwise.

In the meeting, China’s Xi repeated that Beijing supports the Ukraine conflict to an end and promoted efforts to settle the disputes in dialogue.

Based on Beijing’s readout about the talk, 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.”

Xi also reiterated opposition to the sanctions. Readout from state-media Xinhua News Agency said the call was “constructive,” similar to the White House’s recall of the meeting.

The talk came a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that there have been worries China was “considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine.”

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