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U.S. commerce secretary set to visit China next week as high-level talks continue

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will travel to China from Sunday to Aug. 30, both countries said.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Sept. 6, 2022. The Commerce Department is opening the application process for computer chip manufacturers to access $39 billion in government support to build new factories and expand production. "This is fundamentally a national security initiative," Raimondo said as the application process began Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023. "We are not writing blank checks to any company that asks."
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo plans to discuss “issues relating to the U.S.-China commercial relationship, challenges faced by U.S. businesses, and areas for potential cooperation” when she travels to China next week.Susan Walsh / AP file

BEIJING — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo is set to visit China from Aug. 27 to 30, both countries announced Tuesday.

The Chinese side’s readout said Raimondo’s forthcoming visit was at the invitation of Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao. The U.S. side did not mention such detail, and said Raimondo is to meet with “senior PRC officials and U.S. business leaders.”

She is also set to discuss “issues relating to the U.S.-China commercial relationship, challenges faced by U.S. businesses, and areas for potential cooperation,” the U.S. readout said.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Raimondo’s trip will be an opportunity for the Biden administration to explain the rationale behind a new executive order aimed at regulating U.S. investments that support Chinese development of sensitive technologies.

Raimondo’s visit comes on the heels of recent trips made by CIA Director Bill Burns in May, Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June and separate July trips made by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Special Envoy on Climate John Kerry.

“We are not sending cabinet officials to China to change China, nor do we expect these conversations to change the United States. Rather, we each have the opportunity through this high-level engagement to ensure that there is a basic stable foundation in the relationship even as we compete intensively in a number of domains,” Sullivan told reporters on a conference call when asked about the cadence in bilateral meetings.

Sullivan described the relationship between the world’s two largest economies as “complex” and “competitive” and said the Biden administration will continue to engage with “intense diplomacy.”

“We’re focused on protecting our national security and ensuring resilient supply chains and otherwise sustaining an economic relationship with China. And as long as China’s playing by the rules and is operating as a responsible actor in the global economy, we think a stable Chinese economy is a good thing for the world,” he added.