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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s High-Stakes Visit to China: Establishing Open Lines of Communication and Addressing Commercial Issues


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U.S. Commerce Secretary Emphasizes Importance of Communication During China Visit

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo recently visited Beijing and Shanghai to meet with Chinese officials. She stated that the trip was successful in establishing open lines of communication between the two nations.

This visit by Raimondo marks the first time in five years that a U.S. Commerce secretary has traveled to China, during a period of strained bilateral relations.

Raimondo emphasized that the U.S. is engaged in a competitive relationship with China across various domains. However, she also stressed the importance of managing this competition and avoiding conflicts, as they are not beneficial to either country.

According to Raimondo, maintaining structured discussions is crucial for addressing commercial issues and preventing further escalation of tensions between the U.S. and China.

Prior to Raimondo, other high-level U.S. officials including John Kerry, Janet Yellen, and Antony Blinken had also visited China. However, Raimondo’s visit was met with skepticism after her emails were hacked by Chinese hackers earlier in the summer.

Raimondo acknowledged the hacking incident and raised concerns about national security, U.S. labor, and U.S. business during her discussions with Chinese officials.

In 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security implemented new export controls that restricted Chinese businesses’ ability to purchase certain advanced semiconductors from American suppliers.

Raimondo clarified that these export controls are primarily driven by national security concerns rather than an attempt to gain an economic advantage. She emphasized that the U.S. will continue to limit the sale of sophisticated American chips to China for military purposes. However, the U.S. will still engage in significant chip sales to China, as most of the chips are not of the cutting-edge variety.

Raimondo explained that while the export controls reflect a nuanced and complex policy, the sale of certain chips to China will ultimately generate revenue for American businesses, allowing them to invest in further research and development.

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