Patrick Lawrence: The Impotence of Antony Blinken

With the U.S. unable to compete in the EV market and desperate in Ukraine, the Secretary of State traveled to China to talk at Beijing for his domestic audience.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he arrives at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai on April 24. (US State Department/Chuck Kennedy)

By Patrick Lawrence
Scheer Post

Antony Blinken was in China for his second such journey as secretary of state and his third encounter with senior Chinese official. This is our news as April marches toward May.

I have to say, it is a stranger state of affairs than I can figure when the State Department and the media that clerk for it told us in advance that America’s top diplomat is going to fail to get anything done as he sets out for the People’s Republic.

“I want to make clear that we are realistic and clear-eyed about the prospects of breakthroughs on any of these issues,” an unnamed State Department official said when briefing reporters last week on Blinken’s agenda. This is how State warns in advance that the secretary will be wasting his time and our money during his encounters in Shanghai and Beijing.

What was this if not an admission of our secretary of state’s diplomatic impotence? Or do I mean incompetence? Or both? This is the man, after all, who arrived in Israel five days after the events of last Oct. 7 to announce, “I come before you as a Jew.” Does this guy understand diplomacy or what?

The media followed the State Department’ lead, naturally, in advising us of the pointlessness of Blinken’s sojourn in China—this at both ends of the Pacific. “Washington is realistic about its expectations on Blinken’s visit in resolving key issues,” said CNBC.  “While crucial for keeping lines of communication open, the visit is unlikely to yield major breakthroughs,” the Japan Times commented.

Matt Lee, the very able diplomatic correspondent at The Associated Press (AP), got it righter than anyone in his April 22 report: The point of Blinken’s three days of talks with top Chinese officials, he reported, was to have three days of talks with top Chinese officials. “The mere fact that Blinken is making the trip might be seen by some as encouraging,” Lee wrote, “but ties between Washington and Beijing are tense and the rifts are growing wider.”

This is our Tony. As the record makes pitifully clear, there’s no mileage in predicting success when Blinken boards a plane for the great “out there.” This is unequivocally so in his dealings with the western end of the Pacific.

There is a long list of the topics Blinken was set to raise with Chinese officials, notable among these Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Taiwan and the South China Sea, military-to-military contacts, artificial intelligence applications, illicit drug traffic, human rights, trade: These are standards on the American menu when a U.S. official addresses Chinese counterparts.

The last is especially contentious just now, given the Biden regime’s disgraceful determination to subvert those Chinese industries with which the U.S. cannot compete. With plans to block imports of Chinese-made electric vehicles already afoot, last week President Biden announced new tariffs on imports of Chinese steel.

And it is now “investigating” China’s shipping and shipbuilding industries, which sounds to me like prelude to yet more measures to undermine China’s admirable economic advances.

Nonsensical Times 10

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is met by Kong Fuan, director general of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office (left), ambassador Nicholas Burns and consul general Scott Walker as he arrives at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. (US State Department/Chuck Kennedy)

But the premier question Blinken addressed has to do with Sino–Russian relations. As he made clear before departing, the secretary of state would more or less insist that the Chinese stop selling various industrial goods to Russia because the U.S. considers them “dual use,” meaning the Russians could use such things as semiconductors in their defense industries—so implicating China in Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Before going any further, let’s try one of those “imagine if” exercises. Imagine if Beijing sent Foreign Minister Wang to Washington to tell the Biden regime to stop supplying weapons to Ukraine as this implicates the U.S. in Ukraine’s war with Russia and this is not on because China and Russia are friends.

It is not even fun, this “imagine if,” so nonsensical is it. Any such exercise would turn Wang, an acutely skilled diplomat, into another Blinken—the thought of which is nonsensical times 10.

But never mind sense and nonsense. Blinken and those who speak for him at State boldly previewed the secretary’s presentation in the days before his departure. Here is Blinken speaking to reporters last Friday:

“We see China sharing machine tools, semiconductors, other dual-use items that have helped Russia rebuild the defense industrial base that sanctions and export controls had done so much to degrade. Now, if China purports on the one hand to want good relations with Europe and other countries, it can’t on the other hand be fueling what is the biggest threat to European security since the end of the Cold War.”

A day later the unnamed State Department official elaborated with this:

“We’re prepared to take steps when we believe necessary against firms that … severely undermine security in both Ukraine and Europe. We’ve demonstrated our willingness to do so regarding firms from a number of countries, not just China. We will express our intent to have China curtail that support.”

As tough diplomatic talk goes, it does not get much tougher. And as dumb diplomacy goes, it does not get much dumber.

For one thing, the Biden regime is demanding that China act against what we can count Beijing’s closest partner—this as leading non–Western nations are coalescing behind a joint project to create a new, let’s call it post–Western world order.

I am reminded of a brilliant tweet someone wrote just after Russia began its Ukraine operation two years ago and the Biden regime sought to recruit Beijing against “Putin’s Russia,” as people such as Blinken insist on referring to the Russian Federation. “Please help us defeat Russia,” the tweet read, “so we can turn our aggression on you when we’re done.” But precisely.

Non-interference Key to Future

For another, the Chinese Foreign Ministry made its response to Blinken’s preposterous intentions clear even before the secretary boarded his plane (and just prior to the passage in the House last week of $60.1 billion in new aid for the Kiev regime).

“It is extremely hypocritical and irresponsible for the U.S. to introduce a large-scale aid bill for Ukraine,” a ministry spokesperson said last week, “while making groundless accusations against normal economic and trade exchanges between China and Russia.”

I cannot think of a handier way of shutting down Antony Blinken.

One other thing while we are on this topic. Among the principles on which a post-Western global order will rest are respect for the sovereignty of all nations and non-interference into the internal affairs of others.

These are two elements of civilized statecraft, as it is destined to be in the 21st century and of which the secretary of state has absolutely no clue.

Why did Secretary Blinken bother to raise this question of Sino–Russian trade when he must have known the response as well as you and I know it. I see two immediate explanations.

One, the crooks in Kiev have already lost Washington’s proxy war with Russia—and goodness knows how much of the just-approved aid they will steal—and Blinken’s presentation in Beijing reflects mounting desperation among the policy cliques who got the U.S. into this hopeless-from-the-start conflict. 

Two, and closely related to the above, when Antony Blinken goes to Beijing he does not talk to the Chinese: He talks at them and is not especially concerned about their responses. He is talking only to the American public and the China hawks on Capitol Hill, who have the White House stretching to out-hawk them at every turn.

If you need support for this latter thought, there is Blinken’s assertion last Monday, when introducing the State Department’s annual human rights report, that China is guilty of “genocide and crimes against humanity” against the Uighur population in Xinjiang Province. This charge has been highly suspect since Mike Pompeo, Blinken’s fanatically Sinophobic predecessor at State, conjured it before leaving office in 2021.

Given no charge of genocide has ever been supported with evidence, what in hell was Blinken doing raising this question (1) on the eve of a diplomatic visit to Beijing during which he purported to want other things out of the Chinese, and (2) given his government’s open sponsorship of what we must now call the Israeli–U.S. genocide in Gaza?

Blinken Has Learned Nothing

Antony Blinken and China’s Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi meet in Beijing in June last year. (U.S. State Department, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

My mind goes back to March 2021 when I read these things. It was then, in an Anchorage hotel (named the Captain Cook) that Blinken and Jake Sullivan, Biden’s new national security adviser, made an utter disaster out of their first encounter with senior Chinese officials, Wang Yi among them.

It was then and there that Blinken and Sullivan, all by themselves, tipped over Sino–U.S. relations with just the sort of shockingly ignorant display of late-imperial presumption Blinken is trying on yet again in Beijing this week.

Sino–American ties have never recovered from the encounter in Anchorage. And Blinken has learned nothing from the mess he made. 

Lessons of which there are several. One and as suggested above, a creeping desperation now pervades the Biden regime’s foreign policy cliques. They do not know what to do about Russia and they do not know what to do about China. 

Two and related to one, the level of incompetence evident among those directing this administration’s foreign policies is very likely unprecedented in the history of postwar American diplomacy. This now reaches the point it is a danger—most evidently in the cases of China and Russia.

Three, there is no self-awareness among these people. They are not present in their diplomatic encounters—reading, instead, from ideologically driven scripts. Again, three years into the Biden regime this is a clear danger.

Four, last, and by no means least, the Biden regime does not have a China policy. 

Think carefully about this. In the single most important relationship the U.S. will have to navigate in the 21st century, those running policy are paralyzed—no map, no diplomatic design, no clear objective other than to oppose, literally, the 21st century in the name of prolonging the 20th.

This is why the warmongers, the economic saboteurs, and the paranoids left over from the “Who lost China?” years remain ascendant in Washington.

Nature abhors a vacuum. So does a foreign policy made of nothing but ignorance and empty bluster. It is the gravest of charges, but Antony Blinken in China makes me feel unsafe.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for The International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Journalists and Their Shadows, available from Clarity Press or via Amazon.  Other books include Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored.

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25 comments for “Patrick Lawrence: The Impotence of Antony Blinken

  1. May 1, 2024 at 05:27

    Tony needs to be on the Terror Watch list; he’s insanely dangerous!?

    > If you ask Gazans what they worry about most, they will tell when Blinken’s feet touch down in Israel. After each time he does, they get slaughtered!

    Did Tony herd the Settlers to LA? The UCLA riots had gangs of Pro-Israel protesters attacking UCLA students protesting slaughter.

  2. LeoSun
    April 30, 2024 at 19:32

    4.30.24, the proverb, “an empty sack cannot stand,” Lives!..i.e., “Shakedown In Shanghai.”

    W/o a glitch, hitch, hiccup, doesn’t miss a beat, Patrick Lawrence dials in, leaving no stone unturned, “Antony Blinken,” Times Up! “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”

    “We will express our intent to have China curtail that support.” [Untamed] $tate Dept., Un-named Official.

    A hollow man w/non-blink’n black eyes, Antony Blinken, busted! Exposed! Antony Blinken, S.O.S., IMO, a broken window into the Divided $tates of Corporate America’s dirty, grubby, infected, bloody diplomacy & non-credible $tatesmanship.

    Everybody sees China’s blown wide-open the USG’s fakery & phuckery. Antony Blinken, * “blown apart!” No holds barred. *”Everybody, feels the wind blow.” China’s extended zero to no fanfare unto Antony Blinken’s visit. No red carpet, “Meet & Greet.” No invitation to lunch. Fuhgeddabout, dinner; &/or, a walk w/Xi Jingping through his beyond magnificent gardens. NOT gonna happen! Au contraire, Antony Blinken, in Shanghai, deservedly, “got” his Democrat, Corporati$t a_ _ kicked, handed to him; &, “ubered” back to the airport.

    …… “What was this if not an admission of our secretary of state’s diplomatic impotence? Or do I mean incompetence?” PATRICK LAWRENCE

    How about, “UNIMPORTANT?” i.e., “Blinken arrives in China and is met WITHOUT RED CARPET. No band or anything … he’s welcomed like a somebody unimportant.” Posted on X, by a user under the name Lord Bebo @ “‘China Skips red-carpet Welcome for Blinken,” 4.25.24 @ hxxps://

    … i.e., “As tough diplomatic talk goes, it does not get much tougher. And as dumb diplomacy goes, it does not get much dumber.” PATRICK LAWRENCE

    “The point of Blinken’s three (3) days of talks with top Chinese officials, was to have three days of talks with top Chinese officials.”

    ……. “Imagine, IF,” Wang Yi, holding court, on the House floor, in “The People’s House,” laid down the “DON’T” like Joey R. Biden yaps & yells about, “DON’T;” &, always, personalizing it, i.e., “Nobody f/w a Biden.”

    ………….. 10.6.22, “Hot Mic!!!” Biden visiting areas of Florida hit by Hurricane Ian, was heard to say: “Nobody f…. with a Biden.” OMF/Gee. Joey’s “salty” language “set off a minor media storm.” The White House’s comment, NONE! A WH S.O.P., “mums da word,” from “salty” language to genocide, on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Territories nka living in “TERROR” Zones. War Zones where “Kill, first. Think, later. “Lives!!!”

    “It is not even fun, this “imagine if,” so nonsensical is it. Any such exercise would turn Wang, an acutely skilled diplomat, into another Blinken—the thought of which is nonsensical times 10.” PATRICK LAWRENCE

    [The TRUTH IS] “the warmongers, the economic saboteurs, and the paranoids left over from the “Who lost China?” years remain ascendant in Washington,” PATRICK LAWRENCE.

    IMO, “they” are “The Beast” aka the Handler. No doubt, from the Middle East to Africa, in the West Bank, to the Gaza Strip, in the streets, worldwide & across Universities’ encampments; and, Selection 2024 is NOT exempt. Biden’s competition is f/fierce. IMO, the Beast’s “world’s” foreign & domestic based order is, * “Kill, first. Think, later,” figuratively & literally. No One Is Safe!

    The take away, “Keep your head on a swivel; &, ‘your gaze on the smiley-faced, serial killers in high places.”

    TY, Patrick Lawrence, CN, et al. Ciao.

    * Paul Simon’s “Graceland”
    * Andrew Mitrovec’s “Joe Biden owns this.” 10.19.23 hxxps://

  3. Em
    April 30, 2024 at 12:06

    The impotence of Antony (Blinkered) Blinken, is using a humane term, equivalent to that applied to all the like others, who had come before him in history’s horror show, where prior to acceding to ‘high office’ of almost unequaled, unquestionable power; their innate humane morality was turned into amoral lust for unmitigated greed, becoming the sociopaths and psychopaths of the sick world they were helped bring about.

    When called to face the music, also known as justice, however, all simply blamed their masters by claiming they were just following the dance instructions/orders.

    Will Blinken, and his present day ilk ever be called before any tribunal???
    It remains to be written or, like most other repetitions of factual history, it will be written-off as an expense, such as collateral damage – more accurately, it is equivalent to cannibalism – sacrificing human lives to secure one’s own survival.

  4. David Otness
    April 30, 2024 at 01:38

    Antony Blinken has all of the aplomb and grace of a prototypical arrogant Israeli. And I’m suggesting he is 50% of the time. That leaves the other 50% of the time to being an arrogant D.C. Zionist. Can’t say he’s not living a full life.

    • robert e williamson jr
      April 30, 2024 at 23:37

      Great call Mr. Otness. I agree, this dolt seems to be doing well shilling for Israel on behalf of the Deep State.

  5. firstpersoninfinite
    April 30, 2024 at 00:05

    “This is the man, after all, who arrived in Israel five days after the events of last Oct. 7 to announce, “I come before you as a Jew.””

    Then why would he support Zionism? Would he support neo-Confederates today as they celebrated the KKK? And believe me, there are plenty of them still around. What does an 1890’s pact with eugenics have to do with a religion that is thousands of years old? Judaism is not Zionism. Zionism is a culture born of state supremacy, willing to subdue any who stand in its way. Judaism is not a state religion. America has been made significantly better in innumerable ways by the addition of voices from Jewish culture. Blinken is one of the Nietzschean “last” men. When asked to think, he merely blinks. That is his only role.

  6. Lois Gagnon
    April 29, 2024 at 22:44

    Mr Yi looks like he would rather be anywhere else than where he is. Who could blame him?

  7. wildthange
    April 29, 2024 at 21:16

    The State Dept has been taken over by the full spectrum dominance department of permanent war profits. We think we can starve the world with ever more expensive military technology and force our allies to spend along with us or else face economic freeze out of western supremacy. The entire world is watching and civilization is facing threats WMDs will not solve. Even 20th century logic was being challenged during the cold war. Reviving it is doubling down on absurdity at the risk of human civilization..

  8. Jeff Harrison
    April 29, 2024 at 18:36

    “They are not present in their diplomatic encounters—reading, instead, from ideologically driven scripts.”
    But, Patrick, 90+% of our politicians do just that 90+% of the time. Why wouldn’t our “diplomats” do the same thing?

  9. Susan Siens
    April 29, 2024 at 17:08

    It is always important to remember Blinken’s antecedents. His father was a mobbed-up lawyer who represented / befriended Robert Maxwell, an Israeli asset and mobster himself. There is nothing in Tony’s background to indicate that he is intelligent, qualified, prepared to interact with the likes of Foreign Minister Lavrov (I don’t know as much about the Chinese diplomatic corps). If nothing else, it is time to get dual passport holders OUT of the government. Let them move to what is left of Israel.

    • lester
      April 30, 2024 at 13:56

      Re the Chinese Diplomatic Corps, take it for granted that they read, write, speak English at a hight level, and know US and Western history thoroughly.

      • Susan Siens
        April 30, 2024 at 15:55

        Yes, this is what is so embarrassing about our so-called diplomatic corps. They know nothing, they think nothing, they are filled with hubris when talking to actual diplomats. And I don’t think they have any idea how stupid and arrogant they appear to be. And it’s not just the U.S., unfortunately. The entire west which includes Australia and NZ are so deeply convinced that they are superior it is pathetic AND monstrous.

  10. nwwoods
    April 29, 2024 at 16:30

    Ironic that the guy who in a Presidential debate a few years ago quipped in response to Mitt Romney’s anti-Russia fearmongering, “the 1980s called and it wants its foreign policy back”(har har), turned around and started a war with Russia while he and his idiot VP were in office.

  11. ZimInSeattle
    April 29, 2024 at 16:20

    Thanks for the superb analysis of winkin’ blinken, & nods clown world. The empire is crumbling rapidly

  12. Joy
    April 29, 2024 at 15:46

    The thought of Blinhen anywhere, other than behind bars, makes me feel unsafe.
    18 U.S. Code 1091. That’s the one that can do it.

  13. Michael G
    April 29, 2024 at 15:17

    And the people around Blinken are not making it any safer either.
    Listening to Katie and Aaron on Useful Idiots this morning:

    McConnell thinks more money is going to help Ukraine win a war they have already lost. That College Students do have a right to peaceful protest while his goons are zip-tying them and tasing them on the ground.

    Lindsey Graham calling what’s going on in Gaza is the “Palestinian Problem”, the problem being, as Aaron points out, that they exist.

    Kirby pushing for a temp ceasefire and a new pier to “allow for easier aid access” While the citizens of Israel pop corn and spin cotton candy at the border, shutting down the very access he gaslights us with.

    Bernie Sanders, that paragon of Social Democracy, conflating antizionism with antisemitism, and in the process condoning mass murder while he speaks against it.

    Last but not least, celebrating the sycophant scumbags perpetuating this collective farce at a whitehouse correspondance dinner. While the fine people who worked security there roughed up a diminutive, 71 year old protestor named Madea Benjamin.

    The only good thing all week was Jill Stein getting a little street cred getting locked up for supporting the College Students. Makes you almost want to vote for her, even if you saw “Planet of the Humans”

  14. Robert
    April 29, 2024 at 14:27

    The US should merge the State Department into the Defense Department and rename the new entity the Department of War. Both current departments are filled with warmongers. And the State Department stopped doing diplomacy decades ago.

    • Altruist
      April 29, 2024 at 16:30

      Good points, but given the prescience of Orwell, it would be better to call the combined departments the Ministry of Peace.
      And the Biden Administration was, not so long ago, considering setting up a Ministry of Truth.
      Further consolidations could result in a Ministry of Love (homeland security etc.) and Ministry of Plenty (economics).

    • Paul M Colopy
      April 29, 2024 at 16:44

      Agreed. And as you know that’s what the Defense Department was called years ago.

  15. Robert Edwards
    April 29, 2024 at 14:12

    What a Blinking idiot – and we have this nincompoop as the US Secretary of State.

  16. incontinent reader
    April 29, 2024 at 14:00

    Another marvelous analysis and critique by the inimitable Maestro Patrick Lawrence.

    And what a slapdown Blinken received at the hands of Xi, Wang Yi, Wenbin, and the Chinese media, as well as at his departure unaccompanied at the tarmac by any bells and whistles or fanfare of his hosts. They were probably relieved he left.

    It was the same with Scholtz’s visit, except that while he was annoying and shabby, he was accompanied by German multinational heavyweights seeking to relocate to China in response to his coalition’s wretched policies that have been bringing Germany to its knees- or with von der Leyen forced to go through passport control, since, as President of the European Commission, she is not the head of any UN sovereign nation member. Anyway, as she is under investigation for corruption and cashing in on the EU’s over purchase of useless covid vaccines, that was another opportunity for schadenfreude.

    And now with Elon Musk getting special treatment. I don’t trust the guy, but he is speaking China’s language, mainly to do business and win-win.

    Delicious, absolutely delicious.

  17. JonnyJames
    April 29, 2024 at 13:01

    I agree 100%: Cringe-worthy, pathetic, embarrassing, anti-diplomatic,…add more adjectives.

    “…What was this if not an admission of our secretary of state’s diplomatic impotence? Or do I mean incompetence? Or both?…”

    (cowardly warmongers appear intelectually and physically inadequate, but compensate for that by “talking tough”, making threats and vulgar demonstrations of imperial hubris – Not very “diplomatic” indeed.

    This reminds me of a specialized term to describe what Mr. Lawrence outlines that could be applied to US foreing policy “leadership” and our so-called elected officals in general;

    noun: kakistocracy

    government by the least suitable or competent citizens of a state.
    “the danger is that this will reduce us to kakistocracy”

    a state or society governed by its least suitable or competent citizens.
    plural noun: kakistocracies
    “the modern regime is at once a plutocracy and a kakistocracy”

    • Bushrod Lake
      April 30, 2024 at 14:13

      Might be a good idea to have a random selection of political leaders very few years. Sort of like jury duty, only better paid.

  18. Carolyn L Zaremba
    April 29, 2024 at 12:41

    This article is so right-on. Thank you, Patrick Lawrence for the clarity. The U.S. government is stuck in the last century and this is dangerous for everyone.

  19. Alan Ross
    April 29, 2024 at 12:05

    An informative article but I do not agree that there is no China policy or that the visits are just theater for US consumption. Our policy is to do everything necessary to maximize the profits made by the few ultra-rich American families that have the most say in running our govt including its foreign policies. Thew visits are to make it seem we tried so much to get along with the PRC before being forced to resort to the economic and military actions we think necessary to undermine China’s growing power. Implied in our diseased view of PRC, at least its govt, is the racist Yellow Menace theme. I hope what Menken supposedly said about the intelligence of the American public is not true – though one must admit is is easy to be fooled when all of the mainstream media is putting out a growing amount of anti-China and anti-Chinese propaganda. (e.g. when will the press start portraying Xi as the Asian Hitler?0

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