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Psaki told reporters during the White House’s daily press conference that Chinese President Xi Jinping needed to verbally condemn Russia’s invasion. She was responding to comments made by China’s ambassador to the U.S., who said over the weekend that condemnation alone wouldn’t halt the Russian invasion.
“Our view is that verbal condemnation of the actions of President Putin and the actions of [the] Russian military is important and vital, and it’s about what side of history you want to stand on at in this point in time,” Psaki said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, March 18, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“At the same time, as you know, the president had a lengthy discussion with President Xi on Friday, and we’re going to continue to keep those lines of communication open,” she continued.
Psaki also said the White House has noted the absence of “condemnation” by China of Russia over the war, saying the Asian nation has echoed Russian “conspiracy theories” about “chemical weapons.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds after the parliament passed a constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits, at the third plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 11, 2018. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
“What we want to hear is condemnation of what we’re seeing on the ground,” she added.
The presidential spokeswoman’s answer continued her trend of alluding to history books and asking how China wants to be portrayed in this time of war.
Psaki was asked Friday why President Biden had not made specific requests to Chinese President Xi Jinping that morning during their conversation about Putin’s attacks against Ukraine. She suggested China could be cowed by how it will be judged in history.
“Because China has to make a decision for themselves about where they want to stand and how they want the history books to look at them and view their actions,” Psaki said.
Just one day earlier, Psaki fielded another question about China’s relationship with Russia, arguing that it was a question for any country of “where you want to be as the history books are written.”
Fox News Digital’s Nikolas Lanum contributed reporting.