US State Secretary Blinken in China to urge Beijing to stop aiding Russia's defense industry

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Shanghai on a three-day visit to China, Reuters reported on April 24.

Blinken will meet with the heads of American companies, and on April 26, he will go to Beijing for talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and, probably, with the country's leader Xi Jinping.

Blinken's visit is the latest high-level contact between the two countries, which, along with working groups on issues ranging from global trade to military communications, has eased the tensions that led to a historic low in relations early last year.

Blinken will reportedly pressure China to stop its companies from contributing to the development of Russia's defense industriy.

Read also: China a key supplier to Russia’s military complex — Blinken

The United States has previously discussed the possibility of imposing sanctions on Chinese banks in connection with support for Moscow, but officials told Reuters that they have no plan to do so.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman quoted by Chinese media on April 23, said that relations have "shown a trend of stopping decline and stabilizing" since U.S. President Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met in San Francisco.

Read also: Blinken to visit China next week, discussions to include war in Ukraine

But the Chinese official criticized Washington's "stubborn strategy of containing China" as well as words and actions to "interfere in China's internal affairs, tarnish China’s image and undermining China’s interests," calling it a mistake.

Blinken is also expected to broach the topic of territorial claims in the South China Sea and Taiwan, as China expressed outrage and called on the United States to limit support for Taiwan after the Senate approved a bill providing about $8 billion in aid to the island.

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