US Politics

Blinken returns to China with warning over Russian military aid

Blinken at G7 press conference

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China this week with a fresh threat regarding Beijing’s support for Russia, as the House greenlit a new $61 billion aid package for Ukraine. 

A senior State Department official previewed Blinken’s upcoming April 24-26 trip to China in a call with reporters on Friday, describing how he will meet with senior PRC officials in both Shanghai and Beijing.

“I don’t have anything specific to announce to you today, but I’ll just underscore that as you’ve seen us demonstrate over the past many weeks and months, we’re committed to taking the steps necessary to defend our national interests, and we’re prepared to take steps when we believe necessary against firms that are taking steps in contravention to our interests and in ways that – as we’ve indicated here – severely undermine security in both Ukraine and Europe,” the senior State Department official said. “And I think we’ve demonstrated our willingness to do so regarding firms from a number of countries, not just China. And at any rate, again, I think this will be a key issue of discussion while we’re in Beijing.”

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a press conference at the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting.  (Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images)

With his G7 foreign ministerial counterparts, Blinken on Friday discussed concern “about the transfers to Russia from businesses in the PRC of a range of dual-use materials and weapons components that Russia is using to advance its military production,” the official said. “The concern there is that through Chinese support, Russia has largely reconstituted its defense industrial base, which has an impact not just on the battlefield in Ukraine but poses a larger threat, we believe, to broader European security.”

Blinken and other U.S. diplomats will express those concerns to China and “our intent to have China curtail that support,” which is starting to pose “a threat to European security,” the official said. 

The State Department could not immediately confirm whether Blinken will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The senior State Department official did confirm to reporters that Blinken is expected to meet with his counterpart, Director and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. 

Blinken with G7 leaders at roundtable in Capri

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British, French, Canadian, Italian, Japanese and German officials…

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