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China increases pressure on US and Asia-Pacific region due to Blinken's visit to Beijing

China increases pressure on US and Asia-Pacific region due to Blinken's visit to Beijing Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, John Aquilino (photo: US Embassy in Japan)

China is rapidly becoming more aggressive in its rhetoric and actions in Asia. Beijing has also significantly increased pressure on Washington in the context of the visit to the country by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to the US Indo-Pacific Command, John Aquilino.

"We all need to understand that it’s moving very fast. The buildup of military power despite a bad economy, the increased narrative of all things inside the 10-dash line are Chinese sovereign territory, then the actions that are going toward enforcement," Admiral Aquilino told journalists in Tokyo on Tuesday, April 23.

Aquilino, who is preparing to retire after three years as the regional representative overseeing 380,000 military personnel, called China's actions in the South China Sea dangerous and destabilizing.

Tensions have risen around the Second Thomas Shoal - an area where the Philippines maintains a ship on the shoal from World War II, and Chinese ships block Philippine military missions, which rotate and resupply troops on the vessel.

The head of the US Indo-Pacific Command also criticized China for its increasingly aggressive campaign of coercion and pressure around Taiwan, including increased maritime patrols and continued crossings of the central line intended to prevent miscalculations. Blinken is also likely to reaffirm US support for Taiwan ahead of the inauguration of Lai Ching-te as president in May, which could provoke a reaction from Beijing.

Aquilino's comments come at a time when the US is seeking to build a network of relationships with partners throughout the region to counter China - a decision that Beijing condemns.

Bloomberg also reported that China lashed out at Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following his recent visit to Washington, where he strengthened ties with the US and participated in the first trilateral summit with the Philippines. Chinese military officials also criticized certain non-regional country for creating small cliques which, they said, are irresponsible and extremely dangerous.

Bloomberg reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued a statement on Tuesday, launching its most blistering attack to date on US complaints about excess industrial capacity. The report suggested that Blinken may expect tough talks during his visit from April 24 to 25.

China's support for Russia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken embarked on a visit to China on Tuesday, April 23, marking the diplomat's first trip since last summer.

The head of the State Department plans to express US concerns about Chinese companies supporting the Russian military machine and will also attempt to prevent a rupture in Washington's ties with Beijing.

Earlier, the European Union noted that China is supplying Russia with dual-use goods for the production of weapons. Such deliveries could increase in the future.

Recently, Blinken criticized Chinese support for the Russian defense industry.