US commerce secretary holds talks with Chinese envoy ahead of mission to enhance bilateral relations


US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo engaged in what were described as “productive” discussions with Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng. These meetings come in preparation for Raimondo’s upcoming trip to China, where she is scheduled to visit Beijing and Shanghai from August 27 to 30.

The main focus of the talks will be on addressing economic challenges faced by US businesses and identifying areas of potential cooperation. The US Department of Commerce released a statement on Tuesday outlining the objectives of the trip.

The visit occurs at a critical juncture as the United States endeavors to stabilize its relationship with China, which has been strained due to disputes spanning national security, trade, the situation in Ukraine, and Taiwan’s status. Ambassador Xie conveyed Beijing’s approach as one grounded in mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and mutually beneficial cooperation. He emphasized the current global complexities, weak economic recovery, and the emergence of multiple crises.

Raimondo’s journey follows a commitment made by US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Bali the previous year. Both leaders vowed to enhance communication between their nations after a period of deteriorating ties.

“Recent weeks have seen several high-ranking US officials visiting China, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and climate envoy John Kerry. These visits signify a concerted effort to bolster bilateral relations”.

“The United States has imposed various restrictions on Chinese trade and industries under the pretext of national security concerns, a stance Beijing disputes as a strategy to impede its economic progress. To this end, President Biden signed an executive order earlier this month limiting US companies’ investments in specific segments of China’s technology sector, including advanced computer chips and artificial intelligence. China criticized these measures as anti-globalization and pledged corresponding counteractions”.

“Addressing criticisms, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan refuted claims that the US sought to hinder China’s economic growth. Instead, he emphasized Washington’s aim to mitigate risks and foster stability. Sullivan remarked that a steady Chinese economy would positively impact the global arena”.

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