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U.S. Commerce Secretary's Upcoming China Visit: High-Level Talks, Hacking Controversy, and Trade Developments

The U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo's scheduled visit to China next week for talks with government officials and business leaders underlines significant developments in trade, diplomacy, and cybersecurity between the two nations.

Gina Raimondo
Gina Raimondo

Raimondo's Scheduled Visit to China

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will travel to China next week for meetings with senior Chinese government officials and U.S. business leaders. This is the latest in a recent series of high-level visits, the department said on Tuesday. Last month, Raimondo vowed to go forward with the visit despite the reported Chinese hacking of her department's emails.

U.S. Stance on Economic Relationship with China

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Raimondo will carry a message that the U.S. is not seeking to decouple from China but will protect its national security. He added she will reinforce that the U.S. is focused on sustaining an economic relationship with China.

U.S. Lifts Export Control Restrictions on Chinese Entities

On Tuesday, China welcomed the department's decision to lift export control restrictions on 27 Chinese entities, saying it is conducive to normal trade between Chinese and U.S. firms. The U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday removed 27 Chinese companies from its "Unverified List." The removal demonstrates cooperation between companies and governments.

Details of Raimondo's Visit and Areas of Discussion

Raimondo "looks forward to constructive discussions" during the visit to Beijing and Shanghai from Aug. 27-30, covering issues related to the U.S.-China commercial relationship, challenges faced by U.S. businesses, and areas for potential cooperation.

China's Welcome and Raimondo's Concerns

Last week, China said it welcomed Raimondo's expected visit. Raimondo herself expressed serious concerns about China's treatment of U.S. tech companies and their intellectual property, while also seeking commercial cooperation.

Recent Diplomatic Engagements and Agreements

Raimondo's trip follows Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's four-day visit to Beijing. Additionally, the U.S. and China agreed to approve twice the number of passenger flights between the two countries, a rare sign of cooperation between the world's largest two economies.

Hacking Allegations and Cybersecurity Concerns

Raimondo was among U.S. officials whose emails were hacked by a group said to be based in China. Earlier, China's embassy warned against groundless speculations and accusations concerning cyber attacks.

Targeting U.S. Export Controls and Previous Engagements

In July, Raimondo discussed targeting U.S. controls on exports to China. She met Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao in May, discussing trade, investment, and export policies, marking the first U.S.-China cabinet-level exchange in months. In April, she warned of threats from Chinese cloud companies, sparking calls for increased export controls.