Blinken to Make Second Trip to China With Warnings Over CCP’s Russia Support

Blinken is heading to Beijing for a 3-day visit to tackle a range of contentious issues, including Beijing’s aid to Russia.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to China this week for a three-day visit to tackle a range of contentious issues, including Taiwan, human rights, and Beijing’s aid to Russia.

Mr. Blinken’s second trip to China as secretary of state is the latest in a string of efforts by Washington to engage with Beijing. These efforts aim to stabilize the two nations’ still-fraught relationship. The United States and communist China are at odds on almost everything, from Russia’s war in Ukraine to the future of TikTok.

A senior State Department official said Mr. Blinken will raise Washington’s concerns on a range of “bilateral, regional, and global issues” during his three-day visit starting from Wednesday.

Mr. Blinken will meet with members of the regime’s senior leadership, including his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, during his visit, which includes stops in Beijing and Shanghai.

It remains to be seen whether he will talk with Xi Jinping, the leader of the communist regime. Xi received the visiting secretary of state in Beijing last July, but their talk wasn’t publicly confirmed until shortly before it took place.


China’s aid to Russia’s defense industry is at the top of Mr. Blinken’s agenda. “Through Chinese support, Russia has largely reconstituted its defense industrial base,” the senior official said.

Mr. Blinken will highlight Washington’s “deep concern” regarding this issue and press the Chinese side to curtail its support for Russia, according to the official.

“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 … severely undermine security in both Ukraine and Europe.”

The message followed a similar warning from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who was in China for economic talks earlier this month. Ms. Yellen emphasized to Chinese officials that any company, including those in China, would face “significant consequences” if they provided aid to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Commerce Department has placed more than 40 Chinese entities on its export control list for allegedly supplying Russia’s military and defense industry.

A Ukrainian official told Reuters in April 2023 that Ukrainian forces were finding Chinese-made electronics from Russian weapons recovered from the battlefield.


The secretary of state is set to use his trip to deliver U.S. concerns that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has become more aggressive toward Taiwan in recent years, heightening tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

Mr. Blinken “will underscore, both in private and public, America’s abiding interest in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the senior official said. “We think that is vitally important for the region and the world.”

Outside observers are concerned that tensions across the Taiwan Start may escalate further in the run-up to next month’s inauguration of Lai Ching-te, Taiwan’s president-elect.

Beijing may increase economic coercion and military harassment toward Taipei, sending more military aircraft and warplanes near the island ahead of Mr. Lai’s inauguration ceremony, according to Wu Se-zhi, a researcher at Cross-Strait Policy Association, a Taiwan-based think tank.

Mr. Blinken is likely to warn the CCP that “you’re not allowed to take proactive actions against Taiwan,” Mr. Wu told The Epoch Times.

The CCP, which has never renounced the use of force to seize Taiwan, has voiced anger at any hints of Washington’s support for the island. At a press conference on Tuesday, a Chinese foreign ministry official warned again that the “Taiwan issue” is an “insurmountable red line of Sino-U.S. relations.”

Mr. Wu dismissed the CCP’s warning. China cannot afford the U.S. sanctions or other economic pressures, Mr. Wu suggested, noting that the Chinese authorities strive to attract foreign investors amid a slowing economy.

No Breakthrough Expected

The top U.S. diplomat’s upcoming talks in China will also touch on issues that divide the world’s two biggest economies, such as Beijing’s unfair trade practices and industrial over-capacity, which has emerged as a new source of contention with its trade partners in recent months.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is probing China’s unfair trade practices in maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding industries. President Joe Biden called to triple tariffs on steel and aluminum from China while campaigning in Pennsylvania.

In Congress, lawmakers are pushing TikTok to divest from its China-based parent company, ByteDance, over national security concerns. Last week, the House of Representatives adopted legislation that would bar the popular social media app from operating in the United States unless ByteDance sells the stakes within a year.

Just a day before Mr. Blinken’s visit, the U.S. State Department issued a report highlighting the Chinese regime’s transnational repression to silence its targets on American soil and elsewhere.

The senior State Department official suggested that Mr. Blinken’s trip will unlikely result in major breakthroughs beyond open exchanges.

“I want to make clear that we are realistic and clear-eyed about the prospects of breakthroughs on any of these issues, but we will continue to use diplomacy to communicate our positions and policies, clear up misperceptions, and underscore that we will continue to take actions to protect our national security and economy,” the official said.

“Our primary focus is not solely on deliverables, but rather to have candid, direct, and constructive discussions that defend U.S. national interests and, again, prevent miscalculation.”

Frank Fang and Luo Ya contributed to this report.


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