Washington: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday (local time) said that China "bears responsibility" to use its influence with Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the war in Ukraine.

Blinken's remarks come ahead of US President Joe Biden's call on Friday with China's Xi Jinping, reported CNN.

"We continue to call on all nations, especially those with direct influence with Russia, to use whatever leverage they have to compel Moscow to end this war of choice. We believe China, in particular, has a responsibility to use its influence with President Putin and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support," Blinken said.

"Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter. And we're concerned that they're considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine. President Biden will be speaking to President Xi tomorrow and will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia's aggression and we will not hesitate to impose costs," he said.

There is a lot of conjecture about the strategic relationship between China and Russia, and the degree of knowledge that Chairman Xi Jinping had before President Vladimir Putin launched his lamentable invasion of Ukraine.

This war is proving to be fraught with risks for China, putting Beijing in an awkward nexus as it tries to juggle support for its ally while pretending to be neutral.

China has tried hard to portray itself as neutral in this conflict, but it is patently obvious that it is not easy walking such a tightrope.

Russian talking points are blithely repeated by Chinese officials, one example being the ridiculous notion that the USA has biological warfare laboratories in Ukraine.