Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to Visit China Next Week

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Economy|Commerce Secretary to Visit China Next Week in Bid to Steady Ties

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/22/business/economy/gina-raimondo-china.html

The trip by Gina Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, comes at a tense moment for the U.S.-China relationship and the Chinese economy.

Gina Raimondo, wearing a dark suit, walking on Capitol Hill carrying papers, two pens and a smartphone, flanked by several other people including security officers.
Gina Raimondo, the U.S. secretary of commerce, will travel to China next week, the latest high-level U.S. official to visit the country this year.Credit…Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times

Ana Swanson

Gina Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, will travel to Beijing and Shanghai for a series of meetings next week, becoming the latest Biden official to visit China as the United States seeks to stabilize the relationship between the countries.

Ms. Raimondo will meet with senior Chinese officials and American business leaders between Sunday and next Tuesday, the Department of Commerce said in an announcement Tuesday. The department said Ms. Raimondo was looking forward to “constructive discussions on issues relating to the U.S.-China commercial relationship, challenges faced by U.S. businesses and areas for potential cooperation.”

The secretary will visit during a period of tensions between Washington and Beijing, and amid extreme volatility in the Chinese economy, which is struggling with stalling growth, a real estate crisis and lackluster consumer confidence.

The Biden administration has dispatched a series of officials to China in recent months in an attempt to restore some stability to the bilateral relationship, after the flight of a Chinese surveillance balloon across the United States early this year left ties badly frayed.

Since June, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and the presidential climate envoy, John Kerry, have made trips to meet with counterparts in China. The meetings could potentially pave the way for a visit by China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to the United States this fall.

As the cabinet official most responsible for promoting the interests of American businesses abroad, Ms. Raimondo is likely to try to expand some commercial relations, and express concerns about a recent crackdown on firms with foreign ties in China. A Chinese statistics agency announced that it had imposed fines of nearly $1.5 million on the Mintz Group, an American corporate investigations firm that was raided in March, after finding that the company had engaged in “foreign-related” surveys without official permission.

The meetings are also expected to touch on the technology restrictions that Ms. Raimondo’s department oversees, which have prohibited companies in fields like artificial intelligence and quantum computing from sharing their most advanced technology with China. China has strongly objected to those restrictions.

Last month, U.S. officials said Chinese hackers, most likely affiliated with the country’s military or spy services, had obtained Ms. Raimondo’s emails, in a hack that State Department cybersecurity experts discovered in June. The hackers penetrated email accounts belonging to State and Commerce Department officials, the U.S. officials said.

Li You contributed research from Shanghai.

Ana Swanson is based in the Washington bureau and covers trade and international economics for The Times. She previously worked at The Washington Post, where she wrote about trade, the Federal Reserve and the economy. More about Ana Swanson

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