Senior officials from the United States and China held a series of economic policy meetings in Beijing on Tuesday – the latest sign the two countries are trying to halt their long-deteriorating relationship and restore communications.
Gina Raimondo, the US Secretary of Commerce, and other top officials from her department met with Vice Premier He Lifeng Tuesday afternoon in the Great Hall of the People next to Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. Mr. He has extensive control over economic policy and has long been closely associated with Xi Jinping, the Supreme Leader of China.
Sitting in a red-carpeted reception room on the second floor of the Great Hall, Mr. He said at the beginning of their meeting that he was willing to work with Ms. Raimondo and hoped that the United States would pursue rational and practical policies. She responded by setting out what the Biden administration sees as its priorities.
“The US-China trade relationship is one of the most consequential on a global scale, and stewardship of that relationship is critical to both our nations and indeed the world at large,” Ms. Raimondo said. “And while we will of course never compromise on protecting our national security, I want to make it clear that we are not trying to decouple or slow down China’s economy.”
Ms. Raimondo also met briefly with Premier Li Qiang, China’s second-highest official. In remarks ahead of the meeting, Ms. Raimondo said the United States hopes trade ties between the two countries “can bring stability to the overall relationship.” She added that there are areas of global concern – like climate change, artificial intelligence and the fentanyl crisis – where “the world expects us to work together to solve these problems.”
The Commerce Secretary, who is more than halfway through his four-day trip, is the fourth senior Biden administration official to travel to China in three months. American officials are trying to promote economic ties with China while restricting the export of advanced technologies with military applications in the interest of national security.
On Monday, Ms. Raimondo and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao agreed to hold regular talks between the two countries on trade issues. Both business leaders and government officials are expected to take part in these talks. The two governments also agreed to share information on how the United States enforces its export controls, beginning with a meeting of their senior advisers Tuesday morning in Beijing.
Ms. Raimondo met with Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping on Tuesday. That meeting came less than three weeks after Beijing lifted the ban on group travel to the United States it imposed during the pandemic, when China almost completely closed its borders for nearly three years.
The two ministers agreed at the meeting that the United States and China would host a meeting in China early next year to promote the travel industry. This is the latest in a series of business support activities organized by Ms. Raimondo.
Travel from China to the United States remains at less than a third of pre-pandemic levels, industry group United States Travel Association said Saturday.
Source : www.nytimes.com