U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2021. Reuters
"China claims to be neutral, but its behavior makes clear that it is still investing in close ties to Russia," a US State Department spokesperson said.
The statement came hours after President Xi Jinping assured Putin of Beijing's support for Moscow's "sovereignty and security" during a call between the two leaders on Wednesday.
China has refused to condemn Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and has been accused of providing diplomatic cover for Russia by blasting Western sanctions and arms sales to Kyiv. The State Department spokesperson said Washington was "monitoring China's activity closely."
"But in other key respects, China has already made a choice," the statement continued.
More than three months into the invasion, "China is still standing by Russia. It is still echoing Russian propaganda around the world. It is still shielding Russia in international organizations... And it is still denying Russia's atrocities in Ukraine by suggesting instead that they were staged," it said.
"Nations that side with Vladimir Putin will inevitably find themselves on the wrong side of history... This is not a moment for equivocation or hiding or waiting to see what happens next. It is already clear what is happening," the statement concluded.
The conversation between Xi and Putin on Wednesday was their second reported call since the Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.