US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressed concern about recent actions Beijing has taken against American companies in a meeting with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao.
(Bloomberg) — US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressed concern about recent actions Beijing has taken against American companies in a meeting with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao.
The Thursday encounter marked the highest-level visit to the US by a Chinese official in more than two years.
Raimondo spoke about “the recent spate of PRC actions taken against US companies operating in the PRC,” during the meeting in Washington, the Commerce Department said in a statement, using the abbreviation for the People’s Republic of China.
She did not mention any company by name, but China on Sunday said it was targeting Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc.’s products, citing national security reasons, a step that has triggered calls for retaliation in Washington.
The pair also had “candid and substantive” talks about issues relating to the US-China commercial relationship, including the overall environment in both countries for trade and investment and areas for potential cooperation, according to the Commerce Department.
China’s Ministry of Commerce in its own statement said the meeting was candid and constructive, and that Wang expressed concerns about US chip policy and export controls with Raimondo.
Wang is on his way to an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Detroit, where economic coercion and reorienting supply chains are expected to be on the agenda.
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He is expected to meet with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at the APEC gathering. The trip fits a broader trend of Chinese officials traveling more often in the months since the country ended its strict Covid Zero policies.
It also coincides with a push by the Biden administration to prevent relations between the two countries from worsening after a series of episodes, ranging from the furor over an alleged spy balloon that traversed the US in February to tit-for-tat sanctions and export controls on semiconductors.
Speaking at the end of the Group of Seven summit in Japan on Sunday, President Joe Biden expressed optimism that relations would “thaw very shortly.” After that, Xie Feng arrived in the US to serve as China’s new ambassador.
Thorny issues remain, particularly regarding trade and commerce. Raimondo’s department has taken the lead on restricting exports of chipmaking technology to China, accelerating the strategic competition between the two superpowers and setting off dueling accusations of “economic coercion.”
Earlier: U.S., China End Contentious Alaska Meeting With Little to Show
The last time Chinese dignitaries came to the US on a formal visit was in March 2021, for a meeting in Alaska with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and other administration officials. Then-Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Politburo member Yang Jiechi led the Chinese delegation.
The discussions descended into bickering from the start, with an extraordinary back and forth that saw the two sides trading accusations over the state of democracy in their countries and accuse each other of grandstanding.
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