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Biden to call Xi to discuss Ukraine: US

US President Joe Biden will speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss ongoing economic competition between the two countries and Russia’s war against Ukraine, officials say.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the phone call scheduled for Friday in a statement that said it is “part of our ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication” between the United States and China.

The call follows an intense seven-hour meeting in Rome on Monday between White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi.

US officials have accused China’s government of amplifying Russian “disinformation” that could be a pretext for Russia to attack Ukraine with chemical or biological weapons.

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.

At the meeting, Sullivan wanted more transparency on China’s posture regarding Russia and repeated that any attempts by China to help Russia avoid sanctions would be costly for Xi’s government.

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