The battle in Ukraine shifted to a geopolitical front Saturday as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the end of a Group of 20 summit in Indonesia, pressing him to change positions and join the United States and partners to "stand up” against Russia’s war, while also trying to ease overall tensions with Beijing.

It was a change of tone for the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, which just over a week ago pushed for a NATO blueprint, released during a summit in Madrid, to include a sharp rebuke of China, labeling its policies "coercive,” its cyberoperations "malicious” and its rhetoric "confrontational.”

The Biden administration’s softer approach at the G20 meeting reflected its conflicting foreign policy goals. As it works to shore up alliances with its Asian allies to constrain China, it is also trying to assemble a global effort to punish Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine — an effort that has little chance of success without cooperation from China foremost, but also from countries like India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.