HomeTop StoriesThe US Secretary of Commerce is visiting China to stabilize relations

The US Secretary of Commerce is visiting China to stabilize relations

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will meet with Chinese officials and US business leaders next week as efforts to stabilize relations that have sunk to an all-time low.

Raimondo’s August 27-30 visit to Beijing and Shanghai will focus on “constructive discussions on issues related to the U.S.-China trade relationship, challenges facing U.S. companies and areas for potential cooperation,” the Commerce Department said in a statement. press release on its website Tuesday.

China’s Commerce Ministry said the visit was at the invitation of Minister Wang Wentao, but did not provide further details.

Raimondo’s visit follows her agency’s imposition of foreign investment controls, which have stung numerous Chinese companies.

Raimondo last met with Wang in Washington in May to discuss trade issues. Since then, trade tensions have only increased.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Aug. 9 to impose blocks and regulations on U.S. high-tech investment in China, due to increasing competition between the world’s two largest economies.

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The order covers advanced computer chips, microelectronics, quantum information technologies and artificial intelligence.

Senior government officials said the effort is limited in scope and related more to national security than economic interests. It seeks to curb China’s ability to use US investment to improve its military capabilities, while also preserving broader trade levels vital to both countries’ economies.

China says it is reviewing Biden’s order and will “take necessary response action based on the results of the review.”

The United States and China are increasingly embroiled in geopolitical competition, disagreements over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, human rights, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, and the threat to attack Taiwan’s self-governing island democracy.

However, given the importance of trade with the US, and with economic growth slipping to 0.8% for the three months ending June, China appears willing to put aside political differences to address economic issues.

Biden officials have insisted they have no interest in economic “decoupling” from China. Yet the government has also restricted the export of advanced computer chips and maintained the extensive tariffs instituted by former President Donald Trump.

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China has since cracked down on foreign companies, leading to a loss of confidence and the shifting of investment plans from international companies to other countries.

Calls by Chinese leader Xi Jinping and others for greater economic self-sufficiency have left investors worried about their future in the state-dominated economy.

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