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Blinken To Raise Concerns About Beijing's Support To Russia's Defense Industrial Base During China Visit Next Week

20.04.2024 21:12

Secretary of State to discuss wide issues, including Russia, South China Sea, Middle East.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China next week on a four-day trip where he will raise concerns about Beijing's support for Russia's defense industrial base among other issues, according to a senior State Department official.

"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," the official said during a virtual news conference.

Blinken will also focus on implementing commitments made by the leaders of both countries in the US state of California to advance cooperation in counter-narcotics, artificial intelligence's risks and safety, and other regional and global issues, according to the official.

US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping met in San Francisco last November for a summit that paved the way for resuming military-to-military communications and "clear and open" communication between defense establishments to avoid miscalculations by either side and prevent a conflict.

Mideast tension

The crisis in the Middle East will also be discussed, the official said, adding that Blinken and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, discussed recent tensions in the region on a telephone call last week.

"We've underscored to them the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East, the need for all sides to show restraint," said the official. "We've expressed our interest in China to use whatever channels or influence it has to try to convey the need for restraint to all parties, including Iran," he added.

Blinken will also raise concerns on issues ranging from human rights, "unfair" economic and trade practices to the global economic consequences of China's industrial "overcapacity."

"And of course, the secretary will discuss challenges in the Indo-Pacific including PRC (China) provocations in the South China Sea, as well as the DPRK's (North Korea) threatening rhetoric and reckless actions," said the official.

The secretary will also reaffirm the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and make clear that the US intends to "responsibly manage" competition with China, the official told reporters.​​​​​​​ -

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