In an exclusive interview with ABC’s David Muir, President Joe Biden said Friday the U.S. “would respond” if China were to supply Russia with lethal weapons in its war against Ukraine, although he said he didn’t “anticipate” China doing so despite warnings from administration officials China may be considering the move.
“I don’t anticipate — we haven’t seen it yet, but I don’t anticipate a major initiative on the part of China providing weaponry to Russia,” Biden told Muir at the White House one year after the Russian invasion began.
When Muir pressed Biden on whether China providing weapons to Russia in the future would be crossing a line, Biden insisted that the U.S. “would respond” and referred to sanctions other countries have received after supporting Russia.
“It would be the same line everyone else would have crossed. In other words, we’ve imposed severe sanctions on anyone who has done that,” Biden said.
“So, there would be serious consequences?” Muir asked.
“I’ll let you characterize what they would be. We would respond,” Biden said.
Biden also detailed a conversation he had directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping this past summer, in which he said he warned him about the economic impact of aiding Russia.
Biden said he mentioned how 600 American corporations left Russia, “from McDonald’s to Exxon — across the board,” adding, “And I said, ‘And if you are engaged in the same kind of brutality by supporting the brutalities going on,’ I said, “‘you may face the same consequence.'”