US Commerce Secretary urges stability in bilateral relations during visit to China
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has embarked on a critical diplomatic mission to China, aiming to restore stability to the strained ties between the two global economic giants. As part of a multifaceted effort by the Biden administration, Raimondo’s visit comes after years of escalating tensions between the United States and China.
Raimondo, who arrived in Beijing on Sunday, is engaged in a series of high-level discussions with Chinese officials and business leaders, echoing the resolve of President Joe Biden’s administration to recalibrate and secure the relationship between the two countries.
During a significant meeting on Monday, Raimondo held discussions with her Chinese counterpart, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao. She emphasized the paramount importance of maintaining stable relations between the two nations, highlighting the immense bilateral trade volume of $700 billion. Raimondo conveyed her sentiments, stating, “We share $700 billion dollars of trade and I concur with you that it is profoundly important that we have a stable economic relationship.” She acknowledged the complexities and challenges of the relationship while expressing optimism for progress through direct and open dialogue.
This diplomatic initiative follows an agreement reached between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Bali last year. The agreement aimed to facilitate increased communication between the two countries after a prolonged period of strained relations.
Raimondo’s visit joins the ranks of other high-profile visits by top US officials to China this year. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and climate envoy John Kerry have all taken part in these efforts, contributing to a cautiously optimistic thaw in relations.
Recent years have witnessed a steep decline in US-China relations, marked by disputes covering a broad spectrum of issues including trade, national security, international conflicts such as the situation in Ukraine, and the sensitive status of Taiwan. The Biden administration, in response to perceived national security concerns, has taken steps to impose various trade and industry restrictions on China. These actions have continued the trend initiated under the previous administration led by President Donald Trump.
China has criticized these moves from the United States, characterizing them as “anti-globalization” tactics designed to hinder the growth of the world’s second-largest economy.
Officials from the US government, however, have repeatedly refuted claims of intending to curtail China’s economic growth. They maintain that their objectives revolve around “de-risking” the economic ties between the two nations, seeking to strike a balance between security concerns and collaborative economic engagement.