(USNewsMag.com) – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo aims to stabilize tourism and trade ties between the U.S. and China during her four-day visit to Beijing.
The first commerce secretary in seven years to visit China, Raimondo was met on Aug. 27 by Lin Feng, a Chinese Commerce Ministry official. She held meetings in Beijing with more Chinese officials on August 28 and 29. She was set to be joined in Shanghai by the U.S. Ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns. However, no plans were confirmed for any working group.
China seeks to have “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation” with the U.S., according to Xie Feng, China’s ambassador to the United States, who also met with Raimondo before the trip.
After an Aug. 24 meeting with President Joe Biden, Raimondo stated that he believes that China and the U.S. need to keep an open line of communication so disputes do not escalate amid rising tensions.
Tensions have been high as the U.S. has been working with its allies to prevent China from having access to advanced semiconductors over concerns that they could enhance the competitiveness of Chinese companies while also aiding the Chinese military.
Government incentives and tax policy are being used by the U.S. to help speed up semiconductor production in the U.S. and wean companies off the Chinese supply chain.
Republicans have been critical of Raimondo’s decision to establish a working group with China to discuss semiconductor export controls. The White House is expected to finalize its export restrictions on advanced semiconductors soon.
Raimondo did say she would let Chinese officials know that “we don’t negotiate” about matters of national security.
During her trip, Raimondo also hopes to boost travel and tourism between China and the U.S., restoring them to pre-pandemic levels. Though the number of flights between the countries doubled in August, it is not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. If tourism levels were restored, Raimondo said it would add $30 billion to the U.S. economy as well as 50,000 jobs.
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