5 things to know Friday

Biden will try to determine where China’s Xi stands on Russia war

President Joe Biden will speak by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, as the White House warns Beijing that providing military or economic assistance for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will trigger severe consequences. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would question Xi about Beijing’s “rhetorical support” of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an “absence of denunciation” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “This is an opportunity to assess where President Xi stands,” Psaki said. Biden has repeatedly criticized China for military provocations against Taiwan, human rights abuses against ethnic minorities and efforts to squelch pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong. But the U.S.-China relationship may have reached a new low with the Russian invasion. In the days after Putin deployed Russian forces in Ukraine, Xi’s government tried to distance itself from Russia’s offensive but avoided criticizing Moscow. At other moments, Beijing’s actions have have included amplifying unverified Russian claims that Ukraine ran chemical and biological weapons labs with U.S. support.

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