Top Chinese official expressed “discomfort” over Russia’s reckless behavior in Ukraine

US officials said Monday they believe China is increasingly concerned and embarrassed by Russia’s war in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric about nuclear weapons.

They spoke to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shortly before Joe Biden’s first meeting as president.

Beijing’s relationship with Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine will be one of the areas Biden wants to engage with Xi’s thinking.

The officials gave an assessment of the discussions at the Southeast Asian Leaders Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which was attended by the Chinese premier, the second most powerful figure in Beijing.

“Prime Minister Li Keqiang spoke in some detail about China’s policy toward Ukraine, clearly insisting on sovereignty and responsibility for nuclear threats and the need to ensure that nuclear weapons are not used in the ways some have suggested,” an official told a news briefing with reporters.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left), the second most powerful figure in Beijing, attended the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  A US official said he spoke at length about Ukraine and the importance of sovereignty and restraint in nuclear rhetoric

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left), the second most powerful figure in Beijing, attended the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A US official said he spoke at length about Ukraine and the importance of sovereignty and restraint in nuclear rhetoric

President Joe Biden

President Xi Jinping

President Joe Biden will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Bali Monday evening ahead of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island.

Putin has repeatedly warned that he may use tactical nuclear weapons to defend his territory.

The official went on to say that the US delegation to the summit gathered more details about China’s unease.

“I think the message in the room was clear, and yes, there were areas in which China and Russia worked together to deepen and expand their relations — economic, energy, technology and a variety of other areas,” the officials said.

But in some of these big issues. I think there is undoubtedly some unease in Beijing about what we’ve seen in terms of tough rhetoric and activities on the part of Russia.

“I also think there’s no denying that China may be both amazed and a little embarrassed at the same time by the conduct of Russian military operations.”

The official did not say where the message came from, but Lee was in Phnom Penh where he met Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Sunday.

Biden was greeted with a traditional Balinese welcome dance when he arrived on the island - his third stop in a foray into global foreign policy.

Biden was greeted with a traditional Balinese welcome dance when he arrived on the island – his third stop in a foray into global foreign policy.

US officials will see an opportunity to drive a wedge between China and Russia after months of fears that Beijing might respond favorably to Moscow’s arms requests.

Biden is scheduled to meet Xi on Monday evening before the G20 summit in Bali.

The two have known each other since 2011, but this would be their first personal meeting since Biden took office last year.

Officials and Biden himself struggled to downplay expectations and frame the meeting as an opportunity to understand each other’s red lines.

It comes after months of tensions over Taiwan and allegations that China is stealing US technology. The last flash came last month when the Biden administration wanted to ban the sale of advanced microchips to China.

Officials now say Biden will want to understand how Xi feels about China’s growing relationship with Russia, its plans on the island of Taiwan and whether it is willing to do anything to stop North Korean aggression.

A second official said Biden wants to make sure the competition between the two countries does not spiral out of control.

Children waving Ukrainian flags in the main square of the recently restored city of Kherson

Children waving Ukrainian flags in the main square of the recently restored city of Kherson

Locals look at two suspected collaborators handcuffed to columns in Kherson after the city was abandoned by retreating Russian forces.  Russia accused of war crimes

Locals look at two suspected collaborators handcuffed to columns in Kherson after the city was abandoned by retreating Russian forces. Russia accused of war crimes

US officials said they believed Chinese officials were alarmed and embarrassed by Russia's activities in Ukraine

US officials said they believed Chinese officials were alarmed and embarrassed by Russia’s activities in Ukraine

“He wants to make sure that this competition is limited, that we develop sentinels, that we have clear rules of the road and that we are doing all of this to make sure that competition does not deviate from conflict,” the official said. .

Xi made it to the top and strengthened his position at the recent Party Congress. He is set to serve a second 10-year term and has seen some of his potential rivals walk away.

This means that US officials will have a chance to see their most trusted allies up close.

“We believe that in tonight’s meeting, President Xi will read out some new faces who will play a more important role in formulating and implementing Chinese policy in the coming period,” the official said.

Biden also cemented his position on Sunday as Democrats won their 50th Senate seat, giving them control of the Senate for another two years.

The fate of the House of Representatives remains in the balance, although Republicans appear to be on course to win it with a slim majority.

“I know I’m coming on strong, but I didn’t need to,” Biden told reporters traveling with him in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

“I know Xi Jinping, I’ve spent more time with him than any other world leader.

‘I know him well. He knows me.

“We have very few misunderstandings and we just need to know where the red lines are.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11424419/Top-Chinese-official-revealed-dis Comfort-Russias-reckless-behavior-Ukraine.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 via senior Chinese official Level of “discomfort” due to Russia’s reckless behavior in Ukraine