US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with China’s premier on Tuesday, calling for Beijing and Washington to work together to solve issues of global concern.
Raimondo’s trip to China is the latest by a senior US official in recent months as Washington seeks to defuse tensions with the world’s second-largest economy.
On Tuesday she held another round of talks with Chinese officials, meeting Premier Li Qiang to stress the importance of open communication between the two powers.
Pointing to areas of “global concern” like climate change, Artificial Intelligence and fentanyl addiction, she told Li that Washington wants to “work with you as two global powers to do what is right for all of humanity”.
“The world is expecting us to step up together to solve these problems,” she said.
Raimondo also reiterated the US position that it is not seeking to decouple its economy from China’s.
“We seek to maintain our $700 billion commercial relationship with China, and we hope that that relationship can provide stability for the overall relationship,” she said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Raimondo met China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng, describing the US-China commercial relationship as “one of the most consequential” in the world.
“Managing that relationship responsibly is critical to both of our nations and indeed to the whole world,” she said during a part of the meeting open to journalists.
She stressed the US would “never compromise in protecting our national security”, but added that Washington did not seek “to hold China’s economy back”.
He, in response, said Beijing was willing to work on “new, positive efforts to keep economic consensus and step up cooperation”.
Raimondo heads to China’s economic powerhouse Shanghai later on Tuesday and will leave the country on Wednesday.
The commerce secretary is one of a number of senior US officials to visit China in recent months — part of an effort by Washington to improve its working relationship with its largest strategic rival.
Relations between the two countries have plummeted to some of their lowest levels in decades, with US trade curbs near the top of the list of disagreements.
This month, Biden issued an executive order aimed at restricting certain US investments in sensitive high-tech areas in China — a move Beijing blasted as being “anti-globalisation”.
The long-anticipated rules, expected to be implemented next year, target sectors such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence.
Raimondo’s trip has seen the US seek more open discussions with the Chinese over such policies, however.
On Monday she met with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, with the two sides agreeing to set up a working group to iron out the laundry list of trade disputes between them.
They also agreed to set up what Washington called an “export control enforcement information exchange” — described as a platform to “reduce misunderstanding of US national security policies”.
The information exchange was set to convene for the first time at Beijing’s commerce ministry on Tuesday, Washington said.
Beijing has painted a less rosy picture, saying Wang had raised “serious concerns” over Washington’s trade curbs on Chinese businesses.
Those included “US Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods, its semiconductor policies, restrictions of two-way investment, discriminatory subsidies, and sanctions on Chinese enterprises”, Beijing’s commerce ministry said.
Washington defends the policies as necessary to “de-risk” its supply chains.
But Wang warned they “run counter to market rules and the principle of fair competition, and will only harm the security and stability of the global industrial and supply chains”.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)