US commerce secretary meets China envoy before trip to stabilise ties

Gina Raimondo’s August 27-30 trip is latest effort by the Biden administration to cool US-China tensions.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is set to visit China from August 27 to 30 [File: Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has held “productive” talks with Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng in advance of a China trip aimed at cooling tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Raimondo is due to visit Beijing and Shanghai next week for talks on economic issues, including “challenges faced by US businesses” and areas for cooperation, the Department of Commerce said in a statement on Tuesday.

The August 27-30 visit comes as Washington is seeking to stabilise US-China relations, which have soured amid disputes over a host of issues, including national security, the war in Ukraine, trade and the status of Taiwan.

In a statement released by the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, Xie said Beijing’s policy is based on “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation”.

“Today’s world is chaotic and intertwined, the global economic recovery is weak, and multiple crises are emerging one after another,” Xie was quoted as saying.

Raimondo’s trip comes after US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at the G20 summit in Bali last year to “deepen communication” between their countries after years of plummeting ties.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and climate envoy John Kerry have all made visits to China in recent weeks in an effort to shore up relations between the sides.

Washington has slapped a host of restrictions on Chinese trade and industry over alleged national security concerns, which Beijing argues are a pretext to thwart the country’s economic rise.

In the latest measures aimed at the Chinese economy, Biden earlier this month signed an executive order restricting US firms from investing in certain areas of China’s tech sector, including advanced computer chips and artificial intelligence.

Beijing condemned the curbs as being “anti-globalisation” and has promised to take necessary countermeasures in response.

On Tuesday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan dismissed accusations that the Biden administration sought to stifle China’s economic growth and said Washington aims to “de-risk”.

“A stable Chinese economy is a good thing for the world,” Sullivan said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies