The United States wants to work with China to solve problems such as climate change and artificial intelligence, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told China’s Premier Li Qiang at a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday.
Gina Raimondo is the latest US President Joe Biden’s administration official to visit China in a bid to strengthen communications, particularly on economy and defense, amid concerns that friction between the two superpowers could spiral out of control.
“There are other areas of global concern, such as climate change, artificial intelligence, the fentanyl crisis, where we want to work with you as two global powers to do what’s right for all of humanity,” Gina Raimondo said at the Great Hall of the People meeting.
Li Qiang said sound economic relations and trade cooperation would be beneficial not only to their countries but also to the whole world.
The United States and China used to be each other’s largest trading partners but Washington now trades more with neighbors Canada and Mexico, while Beijing deals more with Southeast Asia.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gina Raimondo told China’s economy chief He Lifeng that the US does not seek to disengage from its rival.
“While we will never compromise in protecting our national security, I want to be clear that we will never seek to decouple or hold China’s economy back,” she said.
He Lifeng expressed Chinese concerns on topics including “Section 301” US tariffs, export controls and two-way investment restrictions, the Chinese government said.
Former US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs in 2018 and 2019 on thousands of imports from China valued at some $370 billion at the time after an investigation found that China was misappropriating US intellectual property and coercing US companies to transfer sensitive technology to do business.
Prior to her meeting with Lifeng He, Gina Raimondo and Tourism Minister Hu Hepin agreed to hold the 14th China-US Tourism Leadership Summit in China in the first half of next year, a sign that improving people-to-people ties is important to putting a floor under the bilateral relationship.
The step aimed to revive and develop tourism co-operation between the two nations, the Commerce Department said. The last such summit was held in 2019 in Seattle.
Raimondo has made boosting travel and tourism a big part of her trip. China and the United States agreed this month to double the number of flights permitted between them, which are still only a fraction of the number before the pandemic.
If China returned to 2019 US tourism levels, that would add $30 billion to the US economy and 50,000 US jobs, Gina Raimondo said.
Gina Raimondo plans a visit on Wednesday to Shanghai Disneyland, a joint venture of Walt Disney and Chinese state-owned Shendi Group.
US firms have reported growing challenges with operating in China, which has sharply criticized US efforts to block its access to advanced semiconductors.
The first meeting of an initiative to exchange information on export control enforcement was held on Tuesday at the commerce ministry in Beijing, led by Matthew Axelrod, US assistant secretary for export enforcement.
Such an exchange offered a platform to reduce misunderstandings of US national security policies, Raimondo said on Monday but she added that Washington would not compromise or negotiate on such matters.
Raimondo said on Monday she had raised concerns about curbs on chipmakers Intel and Micron in more than four hours of talks on economic and trade issues with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on a range of US business issues.
China said the talks were a “rational, candid and constructive communication”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)