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US wants 'stable' ties with China, commerce secretary says

August 28, 2023

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is in Beijing for talks with Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao. US firms reported challenges with operating in China after Washington moved to block advanced semiconductor exports.

US and Chinese commerce ministry delegations in Beijing
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is meeting with Chinese officials in Beijing in a bid to stabilize relationsImage: Andy Wong/REUTERS

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo began talks with Chinese officials on Monday in an effort to boost business ties between the two major powers.

Raimondo said that it was "profoundly important" for China and the US to have a stable economic relationship.

The US commerce secretary is holding three days of talks with Chinese political and business leaders and is set to meet with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao for two hours later on Monday.

US firms have reported increasing challenges with operating in China since the US moved to block Chinese access to advanced semiconductors.

US-China relationship 'challenging'

"It's a challenging relationship. We will of course disagree on certain issues," Raimondo said. "I think we can make progress if we are direct, open and practical."

"It is profoundly important that we have a stable economic relationship," she said.

However, Raimondo ruled out compromising on restrictions on semiconductor exports.

"Of course, on matters of national security, there is no room to compromise or negotiate," she said.

She said that Washington was seeking "actionable, concrete steps" to move forward with China, adding that the "challenges are significant."

Before his meeting with the US official, Wang said US-China relations matter to the rest of the world and expressed appreciation for Raimondo's remarks.

He said he was ready to work together to "foster a more favorable policy environment for stronger cooperation between our businesses to bolster bilateral trade and investment in a stable and predictable manner."

The minister said the two countries "worked over the summer to establish new information exchanges and working groups that will enable us to have more consistent engagement in our relationship."

US-China meetings

Raimondo is the latest in a number of US officials who have visited China over the summer in a bid to mend relations.

In July, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that progress had been made on the stabilization of relations after she met with Beijing officials.

The commerce secretary's visit takes place under an agreement made between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden during a meeting in November in Indonesia.

Beijing ended dialogue with Washington in August 2022 a number of issues after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. Beijing considers the self-governing island part of its own territory.

Last week, Washington removed 27 Chinese companies from a blacklist that limits access to US technology.

sdi/ab (Reuters, AP)