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CNN: Blinken urges China to cease support of Russian defense industry amid his latest trip

The US Secretary of State’s recent trip to China discussed the issue of Beijing’s support for Moscow’s defense industry. He warned that the US would escalate sanctions if China continued its support.
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State Photo: Twitter/SecBlinken
CNN: Blinken urges China to cease support of Russian defense industry amid his latest trip

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US has seen evidence of Chinese efforts to “influence and arguably interfere” in the US elections in 2024, despite an earlier commitment from Chinese leader Xi Jinping not to do so, according to CNN.

On 26 April, Blinken finished its three-day trip to China, where the top American diplomat met with top Chinese officials, including the country’s leader, and discussed a large number of issues, including Beijing’s support for Moscow.

This spring, a US official told Bloomberg that China is supplying Russia with a range of critical materials, including for the manufacture of cruise missiles, drones, and military optics for tanks and armored vehicles. The officials, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity, stated that without these Chinese-supplied components, Russia’s military-industrial base would struggle to sustain its war effort.

In addition to condemning the provision of components for the Russian war machine, Blinken reiterated President Joe Biden’s message to Xi during their summit in San Francisco last November, urging China not to interfere in the 2024 US presidential elections. Subsequently, Xi reportedly pledged that China would refrain from such interference.

“We have seen, generally speaking, evidence of attempts to influence and arguably interfere, and we want to make sure that that’s cut off as quickly as possible.

Any interference by China in our election is something that we’re looking very carefully at and is totally unacceptable to us, so I wanted to make sure that they heard that message again,” Blinken said.

Blinken’s trip to China, the second in less than a year, is the latest in a series of high-level engagements that culminated in the Biden-Xi meeting in San Francisco last year.

“We are (now) focused on areas where we’re working to cooperate, but also we’re being very forthright about our differences, and that’s important if we’re going to avoid the competition we’re in turning into conflict,” Blinken stated.

During the trip, Blinken also expressed the Biden administration’s concerns about China’s support for Russia’s defense industry. He stressed that if this support persists, the US will take additional action beyond the existing sanctions on over 100 Chinese entities and individuals, adding that he raised the issue to both Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and leader Xi Jinping.

US officials: Beijing provides Moscow with components to boost military production

The US believes that Chinese assistance is helping Russia increase the production of tanks, ammunition, and armored vehicles, allowing it to continue its attacks on Ukraine.

“What we said to China is this – we’re going to take actions we already have, and if it doesn’t stop, we’re going to have to take more action, and you can anticipate as well, that other countries will (too). We’re looking to them to act, and … if they don’t, we will,” Blinken said.

The US official added that Chinese counterparts dismissed claims they support the Russian military. Earlier, they criticized the US, calling them “groundless accusations” over “normal trade and economic exchanges” between China and Russia.

Currently, the US sanctions office is investigating several companies linked to chip shipments that ultimately reach Russia, including those produced by US-based microelectronics manufacturers.

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