'Not rational' for China to negotiate outcome of Ukraine war, says Biden

US President Joe Biden also repeated comments that he would not be sending F-16s to Ukraine for now. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - United States President Joe Biden told ABC News in an interview on Friday that the idea China would be negotiating the outcome of the Ukraine war was not rational, following the release of Beijing’s peace plan for the conflict.

“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s applauding it, so how could it be any good?” Mr Biden told ABC News on the one-year anniversary of the war.

“I’ve seen nothing in the plan that would indicate that there is something that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia, if the Chinese plan were followed.”

“The idea that China is going to be negotiating the outcome of a war that’s a totally unjust war for Ukraine is just not rational.”

China’s plan urges both sides to agree to a gradual de-escalation and warns against the use of nuclear weapons.

The plan, set out in a Foreign Ministry paper, was largely a reiteration of China’s line since Russia launched what it calls its “special military operation” on Feb 24, 2022.

Mr Biden also repeated comments that he would not be sending F-16s to Ukraine for now, saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not need the fighter jets for the moment.

“He doesn’t need F-16s now,” Mr Biden said.

“I am ruling it out for now.”

Separately, Mr Biden also said there was a possibility that China’s President Xi Jinping did not know about the suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew across the US earlier in February. REUTERS

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