Biden says he doesn’t take Xi-Putin relationship ‘lightly’ after meeting

President Joe Biden addresses Canada’s parliament on March 24, 2023 (left). Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian Russian Vladimir Putin shake hands after meeting on March 21, 2023. (right) (Associated Press/Andrew Harnik/Mikhail Tereshchenko, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo)

President Biden on Friday said that the doesn’t take the growing relationship between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin “lightly,” warning that the situation could worsen.

“I just want to put it in perspective, I don’t take it lightly what… China and Russia are doing and it could get significantly worse. But let’s put it into perspective,” Biden said during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa. “We are united coalitions, we, we, the United States and Canada.”

Xi concluded a three-day visit to Moscow earlier this week, a trip seen by the West as Beijing doubling down on support for Russia amid their invasion into Ukraine. 

“I don’t take China lightly, I don’t take Russia lightly, but I think we vastly exaggerate,” Biden said on Friday, adding that China hasn’t provided significant weapons to Russia.

The U.S. military has not assessed that China is providing any military weapons or equipment to Moscow, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday said that is “very troubling” that China is showing support by Putin’s presence in Ukraine.

The president on Friday also pushed back on the idea that the Chinese and Russian alliance is growing.

“If anything’s happened the West has coalesced, significantly more,” Biden said, noting that there have been 40 meetings in 10 years between Russia and China.

“We’re the ones expanding the alliances, the opposition’s not. Name for me where that’s going,” he said. “Tell me how in fact you see a circumstance where China has made some significant commitment to Russia, what commitment can they make? Economically?”

An Associated Press reporter noted that trade has increased between China and Russia.

“Their trade has increased, compared to what?” Biden replied.

The president said that he has met with 80 percent of world leaders since he’s been in office, arguing that his relationships with allies have grown stronger since Russia invaded Ukraine. 

Biden earlier on Friday addressed the Canadian parliament, during which he trumpeted the importance of the U.S.-Canada relationship.

Tags China China-Russia relations Joe Biden Justin Trudeau President Joe Biden russia Russia-Ukraine war ukraine Vladimir Putin Xi Jinping Xi Jinping

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