Trade officials from China and the United States will hold a new round of talks on contentious issues during the third day of US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s visit to Beijing.
On Tuesday, Raimondo met with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng in Beijing and reiterated her view that “US-China trade relations are one of the most important” in the world.
“Managing this relationship responsibly is very important for our two countries and for the rest of the world,” Raimondo said.
And she stressed that the United States will never give up protecting its national security, but added that Washington “does not seek to separate or hinder the Chinese economy.”
In response, He said that Beijing is ready to work on “new and positive efforts to maintain economic consensus and enhance cooperation.”
During a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Raimondo said that China and the United States should step up joint efforts to solve issues of global concern.
“There are… areas of global concern, such as climate change, artificial intelligence and the fentanyl crisis, where we want to work with you as global forces to do what is right for humanity,” she added. “The world expects us to cooperate to solve these problems.”
For his part, Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said today, Tuesday, that his country is ready to work with the United States to promote bilateral trade and investment.
This came in a statement by Wang, published by the ministry on its website, after he held talks with Raimondo. Wang demanded that Washington translate its words into action regarding its assertion that it will not seek secession from China.
Agreement to discuss tensions
The visit of the US Secretary of Commerce resulted in a remarkable agreement between China and the United States to establish a new working group to discuss aspects of tension in trade issues between the two countries.
Raimundo’s visit is the third of its kind by a US official this year to Beijing, after the foreign and treasury secretaries. These efforts come amid deep differences between Washington and Beijing over hot regional issues in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and mutual sanctions between the two countries.
The relationship between China and the United States is described as a declared cold war, yet neither side wants a rupture.
Strong trade exchanges despite the differences
Trade exchange figures between the two countries indicate that last year recorded an all-time high of $690 billion.
China remains the third largest trading partner of the United States after Canada and Mexico, with its goods accounting for 20 percent of total US goods imports.
The United States imposes restrictions on imports from China, as part of what is known as a “risk-reduction policy,” and says that this measure is necessary to protect its national security.
And last June, the Biden administration added 59 Chinese companies to a list of entities in which Americans are prohibited from investing. The activity of these companies includes, in particular, the semiconductor industry, and emerging technology such as artificial intelligence.
As for Beijing, the US restrictions on its exports and preventing Americans from investing in its companies are efforts to limit China’s economic growth.
Due to Washington’s risk-reduction policy, the volume of foreign investment in China fell by about half over the past year, as many investors turned away due to concern about geopolitical risks.
The two countries have severe differences, as Beijing has territorial claims in the South China Sea that Washington opposes, and there is an American concern about China’s relations with Russia over the Ukraine war.
Added to this is the issue of Taiwan, in which the Chinese and the Americans are on opposite sides, and its latest chapter is Washington’s approval last week to sell weapons worth $500 million to Taiwan.