by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Republicans want the Biden administration to do more to pressure China on pushing Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine and to make the consequences clear to Chinese leader Xi Jinping if he decides to help Russian President Vladimir Putin even more.
China is attempting to present itself as a peace mediator in Russia’s war against Ukraine while amplifying Kremlin narratives justifying the conflict and pointing the finger at the United States and NATO. President Joe Biden spoke with Xi for two hours last Friday, during which time China says it laid some of the blame on NATO for Russia’s invasion and reiterated its claims over Taiwan, while the White House says Biden described what the consequences would be if Xi gave material support to Russia.
“President Biden’s call with General Secretary Xi Jinping reportedly failed to convince China to stay on the sidelines,” Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Washington Examiner. “But the reality is China is not on the sidelines — they’ve supported Putin’s war from the beginning. They have effectively declared a new Cold War against the West.”
Gallagher added: “We need to wake up to that reality and make the consequences for any concrete Chinese intervention in Ukraine clear. This includes publishing any evidence of China sending military equipment to Russia, banning the export of semiconductor equipment and design software to China, and ending negotiations between the Securities and Exchange Commission and its Chinese counterpart over audit standards that would give a lifeline to Chinese firms trying to list on U.S. exchanges.”
Rep. Michael Turner, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, is asking national security adviser Jake Sullivan for a briefing on Biden’s phone call with Xi.
“If the president continues to show weakness, it is going to embolden these authoritarian regimes that have self-declared themselves our adversaries,” Turner told the Washington Examiner.