3/19/2022 Washington D.C.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:
The call between President Biden and President Xi this morning lasted approximately two hours. Of course, it was conducted by a secure video link.
I would say the conversation was direct. It was substantive and it was detailed. The two leaders spent the preponderance of their time discussing Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, as well as the implications of the crisis for U.S.-China relations and the international order.
President Biden shared with President Xi a detailed review of how things have developed to this point, his assessment of the situation today, and President Biden underscored his support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.
The President described our assessment of Putin’s actions and his miscalculations. He also described the unity of the United States and its Allies and partners, the unprecedented coordination with our European, NATO, and Indo-Pacific partners, and the overwhelming global unity and condemnation of Russia — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the support for Ukraine.
President Biden made clear the implication and consequences of China providing material support — if China were to provide material support — to Russia as it prosecutes its brutal war in Ukraine, not just for China’s relationship with the United States but for the wider world.
And he stressed concerns, as you’ve heard us speak about more broadly, that Russia is spreading disinformation about biological weapons in Ukraine as a pretext for a false-flag operation and underscored concerns about echoing such disinformation.
President Xi raised Taiwan. President Biden reiterated that the United States remains committed to our one-China policy and is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiqués, and the Six Assurances. And he underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
The two leaders also discussed the importance of managing competition between the two countries — between the United States and China — of addressing areas of strategic risk and maintaining open lines of communication. And to that end, they tasked their teams to follow up on the leaders’ discussion in the days and weeks ahead.
Of course, today’s conversation followed up on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s meeting with his counterpart in Rome earlier this week in which the two agreed that the two presidents would speak — again, as both sides believe that there is no substitute for leader-to-leader engagement.
And, as you all know, this call comes amid the intensive engagement we’ve had with allies and partners in Europe and the Indo-Pacific in recent weeks.