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Biden warns Xi Jinping about China's ongoing support for Russia amid Ukraine war

Xi Jinping and Joe Biden
Xi Jinping and Joe Biden.

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  • US President Joe Biden and China's leader Xi Jinping spoke in a Tuesday phone call.
  • The leaders discussed global conflicts, including China's support for Russia amid the Ukraine war. 
  • Russia has managed to maintain its economy thanks in part to its trade partnership with China. 

US President Joe Biden warned China's leader Xi Jinping about his government's ongoing support for Russia amid the war in Ukraine during a Tuesday phone call between the two world leaders.

Biden and Xi's conversation this week was the first time they had spoken since meeting for a summit in California last November. A senior administration official told reporters in a background call that the discussion was a "check-in" as the two countries attempt to manage rising global tensions, according to media reports.

Over the course of an hour and 45 minutes, Biden and Xi hit on several hot-button issues, including mounting US concerns regarding China's trade partnership with Russia two years into the latter's war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout of the call.

More than two years after invading Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has managed to keep its economy alive, refocusing much of its trade from the West to the East and South, primarily in China and India.

Despite alienating itself from the majority of the world, Russia continues to maintain an economic ally in China, whose ongoing support has helped Russia rebuild its defense industry during a vital moment in the war.

Russia has successfully skirted Western sanctions with the help of China as Beijing becomes an alternative market for Russia's banned oil. Some Russian firms have even seen a boom in business since the war thanks to lucrative trade deals with Chinese companies who buy up Russian energy supplies and provide Russia with machinery and vehicles as payment, according to a recent Reuters story.

A report last month found the Central Bank of Russia is turning to the Chinese yuan for its reserves and to avoid Western sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin even gave Beijing a shout-out soon after winning his reelection last month. Xi followed up by congratulating Putin, issuing a statement affirming the legitimacy of the carefully-engineered election.

Biden and Xi on Tuesday also discussed many of the potential triggers in the two superpower's tenuous relationship, including Taiwan, China's provocations in the South China Sea, and ongoing conflicts around the world, including the war in Israel and Gaza, according to media reports.

The two previously spoke over the phone in July 2022 and met later that year in Bali.

Read the original article on Business Insider