Type to search

Blinken Meets Xi, Warns on China’s Support for Russian War

President Xi was reported to have told the top US diplomat that China and the US should be “partners, not rivals” and avoid engaging in “vicious competition.”

A file photo of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, from June 19, 2023 (Reuters).


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised concerns about China’s support for Russia during a brief meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.

He said later, at the end of his three-day visit, that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would “struggle” without China’s help.

President Xi was reported to have told the top US diplomat that China and the US should be “partners, not rivals” and avoid engaging in “vicious competition.”


ALSO SEE: Blinken Urges China to Play Fair With American Companies


Earlier, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi cautioned his US counterpart Antony Blinken against stepping on China’s  most sensitive concerns.

Wang noted that ties had stabilized after their leaders met in San Francisco late last year, but said that negative factors were increasing in their bilateral dealings and the US was suppressing China’s development.

Blinken, on a visit aimed at resolving trade and policy differences, had arrived at a delicate time, amid tension over issues such as ‘industrial overcapacity’, the forced sale of TikTok, US support for Taiwan, and Chinese firms helping Russian defence industries as Moscow wages war against Ukraine.

Blinken shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing on Friday, April 26, 2024 (Reuters).


As the pair settled into their opening session, Wang told Blinken that the “giant ship” of the China-US relationship had stabilised, “but negative factors in the relationship are still increasing and building”.

“And the relationship is facing all kinds of disruptions. China’s legitimate development rights have been unreasonably suppressed and our core interests are facing challenges,” he said, adding that countries could either engage in cooperation or confrontation, and even a “slide into conflict.”

He set out what he called China’s “red lines” – on its sovereignty, security and development and warned the US not to step on them.

Blinken, who was reserved in his remarks in front of the media, replied that “active diplomacy” was needed to move forward with the agenda set by President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping when they met in San Francisco in November.

“There’s no substitute in our judgement for face-to-face diplomacy,” Blinken said, adding that he wanted to ensure that “we’re as clear as possible about the areas where we have differences, at the very least to avoid misunderstandings, to avoid miscalculations”.

Blinken and Yang met in a guesthouse which is part of a sprawling complex of villas, lakes and gardens where many foreign dignitaries, including the then-US President Richard Nixon, have been received.

He spent about five hours with Wang in closed-door meetings at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, as well as a working lunch, as the two sides try to maintain progress in ties despite a broad and complex agenda.


Support for Russia ‘hurting ties’

US State Department officials signalled ahead of the sessions that China’s support for Russia would feature strongly, saying that Washington is prepared to act against Chinese companies that have been helping retool and resupply Russia’s defence industry.

They have said that such assistance risks hurting the broader China-US relationship, even as ties stabilise after being hit by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in 2022 and the US downing of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon in February 2023.

Despite increasing high-level exchanges and working groups tackling issues such as enhanced military communication and global trade, stark differences remain.


Billions in US aid for Taiwan, Ukraine

Hours before Blinken landed in China on Wednesday, Biden signed a bipartisan bill that included $8 billion to counter China’s military might, as well as billions in defence aid for Taiwan and $61 billion for Ukraine.

The disputed South China Sea also remains a flashpoint, while the US is eager to see more progress on the curbing of China’s supply of the chemicals to used to make fentanyl.

Todd Robinson, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and Nathaniel Fick, ambassador-at-large for cyberspace, are among the officials and envoys accompanying Blinken.

Wang laid out China’s position, saying the US must not step on “red lines” covering sovereignty, security and development interests – an apparent reference to Taiwan, the democratically-governed island that China claims as its own, and the disputed South China Sea.

Blinken is likely to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping today before he returns to Washington in the evening, although neither side has yet confirmed a meeting.

He is also meeting China’s minister of public security, Wang Xiaohong.

Ahead of the talks, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also signalled that the Biden administration was not taking any options off the table to respond to China’s excess industrial capacity.

Yellen told Reuters Next in an interview in Washington that China exporting its way to full employment is not acceptable to the rest of the world.


  • Reuters with additional input and editing by Jim Pollard


NOTE: This report was updated with further details following Blinken’s meeting with Xi, with the headline and top photo changed on April 26, 2024.



TikTok Vows ‘We Will Fight’ After Biden Signs Sale Order

US May Sanction Chinese Banks Helping Russian War — WSJ

Huawei’s China-Made 7nm Chip ‘Years Behind US’, Raimondo Says

Chinese Hackers Poised to Strike at US Infrastructure: FBI Director

US ‘Pressured’ Mexico to Reel Back China EV-Maker Incentives

US Won’t Allow Chinese Imports to Kill New Industries: Yellen

Yellen Warns China on ‘Excess Production, Unfair Trade’

China Says US TikTok Bill an ‘Act of Bullying’ That Will Backfire

US Sanctions 8 Chinese Drug Companies for Fentanyl Trade


Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


AF China Bond