Blinken Concludes China Visit by Threatening Economic War

On the last day of his trip to China, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Beijing that it must halt exports that aid Moscow’s industrial base

Secretary of State Antony Blinken ended his three-day trip to China by instructing Beijing to end exports that help Russia’s industrial sector or face US sanctions and tariffs. In China, Blinken met with People’s Republic of China (PRC) President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

During his prepared remarks, Blinken explained that the US would weaken China’s economy if Beijing did not limit exports to Russia. “Now, even as we seek to deepen cooperation where our interests align, the United States is very clear-eyed about the challenges posed by the PRC,” he said. “The PRC is providing components that are powering Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. China is the top supplier… dual-use items that Moscow is using to ramp up its defense industrial base.”

“I made clear that if China does not address this problem, we will. I also expressed our concern about the PRC’s unfair trade practices and the potential consequences of industrial overcapacity for global and US markets,” he said, suggesting the US would work to limit Chinese exports of electric vehicles, batteries, and solar panels.

Responding to questions, Blinken said he believed that sanctions could be effective because the US is a large buyer of Chinese products, and Washington was prepared to add more sanctions on Beijing. “We’re looking at the actions that we’re fully prepared to take if we don’t see a change… we’ve already imposed sanctions on more than 100 Chinese entities, export controls, and we’re fully prepared to take additional measures,” Blinken said.

Blinken’s visit to China is the latest in a series of high-level meetings between US and Chinese officials since Biden met with President Xi in San Francisco last year. America’s top diplomat claimed there has been “important progress” in improving ties recently.

However, Washington continues to take steps that Beijing views as provocative and a violation of its sovereignty. After a meeting between top defense officials, the US conducted a rare military flight over the Taiwan Strait, a region Beijing views as its territory.

Additionally, part of the $95 billion foreign military aid bill included financial assistance for Taiwan to purchase weapons from the US. “I would like to stress that getting closer militarily between the United States and the Taiwan region will not make the latter safer or save ‘Taiwan independence’ from doom. It will only heighten tensions and the risk of conflict and confrontation in the Taiwan Strait, and will eventually backfire,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in response to the passage of the military aid bill.

The bill also included a provision that forces the Chinese company ByteDance to sell the popular video-sharing platform TikTok or face a ban in the US. Blinken said he did not discuss TikTok with Chinese officials.

Foreign Minister Wang warned Blinken that the US-China relationship risked falling into a “downward spiral” before the two diplomats met on Friday. “China’s legitimate development rights have been unreasonably suppressed, and our core interests are facing challenges,” he said.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.