Gina Raimondo Leads U.S. Effort to Improve Relations with China
Gina Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, arrived in Beijing on Sunday as the latest emissary from the Biden administration seeking to stabilize ties between the United States and China. This comes at a critical juncture as relations between the two countries have become strained due to various factors, including the United States limiting China’s access to technology and China’s efforts to attract foreign investment while increasing scrutiny of foreign businesses.
Ms. Raimondo’s Agenda
During her trip, Ms. Raimondo’s agenda includes economic diplomacy, engaging with China’s new economic team, and advocating for the interests of American companies and employees. While many major issues might not be resolved in these meetings, both U.S. and Chinese officials have hinted at the possibility of finding areas of agreement.
1. U.S.-China Tech War
The mounting restrictions on trade in advanced technology between the U.S. and China, particularly imposed by the United States, will be a major topic of discussion. The Biden administration’s export controls and restrictions, which have angered Chinese officials and prompted retaliation, will be a focus. Efforts to prevent an economically damaging back-and-forth will be emphasized.
2. Deteriorating Business Environment for Foreign Firms
Ms. Raimondo is also expected to raise concerns about China’s treatment of foreign businesses, including recent incidents involving American consulting and management consulting firms. The anxieties surrounding China’s expansive national security laws, technology controls, tariffs, and other trade barriers have contributed to declining foreign investment in China.
3. Promoting Commercial Ties in Other Areas
Despite the challenges, Ms. Raimondo and other officials believe there is still potential for trade between the two economies. China remains America’s third-largest export market, providing significant economic benefits. The promotion of commercial ties, such as tourism and people-to-people exchanges, aligned with U.S. interests will be emphasized.
4. Government Communication
An essential component of the trip is promoting communication between the United States and China, which has suffered due to previous tensions. Restoring channels of communication will help avoid conflicts and reduce tension without compromising core principles.
5. Economic Slowdown and Transparency
Concerns about China’s economic slowdown and the transparency of its economic data will also be addressed during the visit. The recent decision by China’s Bureau of National Statistics to stop publishing certain unemployment information raised suspicions of hidden negative economic data, highlighting the importance of openness and transparency.
Ms. Raimondo’s visit is seen as an opportunity to improve relations and find common ground between the world’s two largest economies.