Blinken to raise concerns about Beijing’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base during next week’s visit to China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China next week for a four-day trip where he will, among other things, express concerns about Beijing’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base, a senior State Department official said.

“The concern there is that Russia has largely rebuilt its defense industrial base thanks to Chinese support, which not only has an impact on the battlefield in Ukraine but poses a greater threat, we think, to broader European security,” the official said during a virtual meeting. news conference.

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

US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in San Francisco last November for a summit that paved the way for the resumption of military-to-military communications and for “clear and open” communications between defense agencies to correct miscalculations on both sides. sides to avoid and avoid a conflict.

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 during a phone call last week.

“We underscored to them the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East, and the need for all sides to show restraint,” the official said. “We have expressed our interest in China to use all channels and influences that the country has to try to convey the need for restraint to all parties, including Iran,” he added.

Blinken will also raise concerns about issues ranging from human rights, “unfair” economic and trade practices to the global economic impact of China’s industrial “overcapacity.”

“And of course, the Secretary will discuss challenges in the Indo-Pacific, including the People’s Republic of China’s (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 in the Taiwan Strait and make clear that the US intends to “responsibly manage” competition with China, the official told reporters.