The Kremlin announced earlier this week that Putin will travel to Beijing to meet with Xi in October. China remains Russia’s closest partner more than a year and a half into the war, despite China voicing opposition to the Russian invasion.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan joined White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at Thursday’s briefing ahead of President Joe Biden‘s meeting that afternoon with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and faced a number of questions about China’s relationship with Russia.
“The No. 1 point in — I can’t remember if it’s 10 or 12 points in the principles that the PRC has laid out with respect to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — is respect for sovereignty,” Sullivan told reporters when asked what the White House wants Xi to stress to Putin during the October meeting.
“Respect for every nation’s sovereignty, so I would like to see every leader who goes and speaks to President Putin reinforce that that basic proposition is inviolable and that every country, including countries that have better relationships with Russia than we do, are going to stand by that principle as we go forward,” he continued. “That’s fundamentally their responsibility.”
You can watch Thursday’s briefing in full below.