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“We’re looking them to act, if they don’t, we will,” US warns China over its support for Russia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after concluding his three-day visit to China that he used his meeting to raise the Joe Biden administration’s concerns about Beijing’s support for Russia’s defence industrial base, reported CNN.

Blinken emphasized that the US will take further action on top of existing sanctions on more than 100 Chinese entities and individuals if such support continues.

“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),” Blinken said in an interview with CNN, adding that he raised the issue to both China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi Jinping. “We’re looking to them to act, and … if they don’t, we will,” he said.

According to CNN, Blinken made the comments in an interview with CNN on Friday while concluding his visit to China, where the top American diplomat spent hours meeting with top Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping as the two countries navigated a raft of contentious issues, from US tech controls to Beijing’s support for Moscow.

According to US, Chinese support is enabling Russia to ramp up production of tanks, munitions and armoured vehicles and allowing it to sustain its military operations in Ukraine.

Additionally, he emphasised that Chinese counterparts had not acknowledged the role of these goods in the war in Ukraine. Instead, they characterized this as trade with Russia and said Moscow’s success didn’t depend on China, Blinken added.

Further, the US Secretary also highlighted during the interview that China is trying to influence the upcoming US elections, as per CNN.

Following this, he said US has seen evidence of Chinese attempts to “influence and arguably interfere” with the upcoming US elections, despite Chinese President Xi Jinping’s earlier commitment to not do so.”

Blinken disclosed in the CNN interview that Xi Jinping reiterated President Joe Biden’s message, which he gave to him during their summit in San Francisco last November, to not interfere in the 2024 US presidential elections.

Following this, Xi pledged that China would not do so.

“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,” Blinken said when asked whether China was violating Xi’s commitment to Biden so far.

“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,” he added.