Business & Economy

Made ‘excellent start’ to revive frosty ties with China: US trade chief

Beijing, Aug 30 (EFE).- US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo described her four-day trip to China on Wednesday as an “excellent start” as the two sides move to revive frosty ties.

At the end of her visit, Raimondo highlighted the willingness to initiate regular communication on resolving trade issues between the two countries as the “biggest achievement” of her trip.

This marked the fourth trip by a senior US official to China in recent months, following visits by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Special Envoy John Kerry.

Asked if if she encountered any problems in China in her attempt to normalize bilateral trade ties, Raimondo affirmed that “there were no setbacks.”

“After three days of productive meetings, the biggest achievement was just to, you know, start regular communication,” she told reporters.

“Remember the context here. This is the first time in more than five years that a US Commerce Secretary has even come to China to begin discussions. So the achievement was to have face-to-face (talks).”

The US trade chief made these statements toward the end of her China trip, which took her to the financial capital, Shanghai, after meetings with officials in Beijing.

On Monday, Raimondo announced a series of new formal channels for bilateral communication, including discussions on export controls and trade issues.

She said it was “a big step forward” because a solution to any problem would come from communicating first.

“So overall, as I just said, this trip is an excellent start,” she said, sounding wary of the challenges that lay ahead for the two countries to return to normal ties.

“I’m very clear-eyed about the challenges ahead. And then, over the next few months, we have to get to work to see whether we can make progress on the issues.”

The commerce secretary said new lines of communication would pave the way for creating a regulatory environment and a level playing field.

“I don’t expect it will solve everything overnight, but I do know that there has been almost no consistent communication on commercial issues.”

She hoped that direct dialogue would lead to transparency and reduce risks and the probability of miscalculations and wrong assessments.

“And the same is true for the trade secrets. We agreed to get our experts together to talk about trade secrets, to figure out how to protect trade secrets.”

The US secretary said that during her stay in China, she had “candid” and “constructive” conversations in meetings that were not limited to simply reading “talking points.”

“I didn’t pull any punches. I was able to explain clearly that we will protect what we must and promote what we can,” she said.

Raimondo emphasized that while national security is non-negotiable, there is ample room for productive business ventures.

On Tuesday, Raimondo met with Prime Minister Li Qiang, who urged the US to “meet China halfway” in normalizing ties between the two countries. EFE


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