US commerce secretary lands in Beijing to boost business ties

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US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo has arrived in China, the place she is aiming to spice up enterprise ties and tourism between the world’s two largest economies regardless of Washington’s transfer to ban American funding in delicate Chinese language applied sciences.

Raimondo, the fourth senior Biden administration official to go to Beijing this summer season, stated she would stress that the US didn’t need to “decouple” from China’s financial system. However she insisted defending nationwide safety was “the highest precedence, interval”.

“The US and China share a big, dynamic, rising financial relationship, one of many largest commerce relationships on this planet,” Raimondo advised reporters forward of her journey. “Each of our international locations, in truth your entire world, want us to handle that relationship responsibly.”

US president Joe Biden this month introduced a ban on American funding in a few of China’s vital tech industries, together with quantum computing, superior chips and synthetic intelligence.

The flurry of senior visits to China are a part of a concerted effort by the Biden administration to clean relations. Excessive-level engagement stalled this yr when China flew an alleged spy balloon over US soil.

Raimondo, whose go to comes as China’s financial system is struggling to get better after pandemic-related lockdowns final yr and amid a deep property slowdown, stated she would “lean into” selling journey and tourism between the 2 sides. She estimated {that a} return to pre-pandemic ranges of Chinese language guests would generate tens of 1000’s of jobs for US staff.

However she cautioned that there have been “many challenges” to “doing enterprise in China and exporting to China”, alluding to what she known as Beijing’s “unfair commerce practices”.

“Should you needed to place a tagline to the journey and the mission, it’s: defend what we should and promote the place we will,” Raimondo stated.

The commerce secretary will face deep scepticism from Chinese language officers, who query Washington’s sincerity in wanting to enhance commerce ties whereas the Biden administration tightens controls on tech investments.

The restrictions introduced this month, which come into pressure subsequent yr, are an effort to cease the Chinese language navy from accessing US funding, data and capital. They’re anticipated to have an effect on non-public fairness and enterprise capital corporations in addition to US buyers in joint ventures with Chinese language teams.

The order was the most recent in a collection of actions designed to restrict Chinese language entry to superior expertise in what US nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan has known as a “small yard, excessive fence” technique.

Raimondo’s go to follows latest journeys to Beijing by different US cupboard officers, together with secretary of state Antony Blinken, Treasury secretary Janet Yellen and local weather envoy John Kerry.

Throughout her journey in July, Yellen advised an viewers in Beijing there was “ample room” for US and Chinese language firms to spice up commerce and funding, regardless of safety tensions.

Chinese language media cited some constructive indicators for US-China relations forward of Raimondo’s go to, together with a transfer by Washington to hunt an extension to a decades-old science and expertise settlement with China and its lifting of export management restrictions on 27 Chinese language entities final week.

“China will proceed to boost related financial and commerce considerations with the US, and attempt to create a good and steady enterprise surroundings for enterprises to hold out commerce and funding co-operation,” the Communist party-run International Occasions tabloid quoted China’s commerce ministry as saying.

Bryan Mercurio, a legislation professor on the Chinese language College of Hong Kong, stated there have been indicators Beijing was open to a thaw in relations and extra dialogue, which might assist pave the best way for potential conferences between Biden and Chinese language president Xi Jinping on the G20 summit subsequent month in India or the Apec discussion board in San Francisco in November.

However the outlook for relations in the long term is just not constructive, Mercurio stated, with a fractious US election due subsequent yr through which ties with China shall be a contentious challenge.

“They’ll clean issues over within the brief run main as much as the Biden-Xi assembly, however in the long run, are there any indicators the 2 will come shut collectively? I’d say if something, it’s the reverse,” Mercurio stated.

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