Boris Johnson had ‘frank and candid’ call with Chinese president about Ukraine

Nato leaders have called on the Chinese government ‘to cease amplifying the Kremlin’s false narratives’.

25 March 2022

Boris Johnson has had a “frank and candid discussion” with China’s President Xi Jinping about the situation in Ukraine, Downing Street has said.

The call came after Nato leaders urged Beijing to “abstain” from supporting Russia’s war effort and to refrain from any actions that would help it circumvent sanctions.

In a terse readout following the 50-minute call, a No 10 spokesman said they had discussed “a range of issues of mutual interest” including the situation in the Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

“It was a frank and candid conversation lasting almost an hour. They agreed to speak again soon,” the spokesman said.

In a statement following Thursday’s emergency Nato summit in Brussels, alliance leaders called on the Chinese government “to cease amplifying the Kremlin’s false narratives”.

They include unsubstantiated Russian claims – strongly denied by the US – that the United States is financing biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine.

A No 10 spokesman said: “Obviously, the Prime Minister has been talking with a lot of world leaders and quite regularly throughout the course of what has happened in Ukraine.

“This is part of the Prime Minister’s wider engagement with world leaders so he can set out our position on where we think the current situation is.”

President Joe Biden, who spoke last week to Mr Xi, said he had pointed out that US and other foreign corporations were already pulling out of Russia because of President Putin’s “barbaric” behaviour.

“I made no threats, but I made sure he understood the consequences of him helping Russia,” Mr Biden told a news conference on Thursday at Nato headquarters.

“I think that China understands that its economic future is much more closely tied to the West than it is to Russia.”

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