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President Biden to speak with President Xi Jinping. Here’s why it matters

Biden and Xi are meeting amid the Ukraine-Russia war

SHARE President Biden to speak with President Xi Jinping. Here’s why it matters
The American and Chinese flags in Zhangjiakou, China.

The American and Chinese flags wave at Genting Snow Park ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb. 2, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.

Kiichiro Sato, Associated Press

President Joe Biden will speak with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China on Friday, the White House announced Thursday.

What the White House said: “This is part of our ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication between the United States and the PRC,” 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.”

Flashback: The United States issued a warning for China not to get involved in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, per NBC News.

  • U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in a meeting earlier this week that China’s involvement could impact relationships around the world, NBC News reports.

The bigger picture: U.S. officials have been monitoring China for reportedly spreading Russian misinformation about the war, including narratives around chemical and biological weapons, per The Associated Press.

  • “There are also reports — denied by the Kremlin — that Russia has reached out to China for aid as it faces sanctions and an invasion that faces stiff resistance by Ukrainians,” The Associated Press reports.