United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will travel to China next week for meetings with senior Chinese government officials and American business leaders, the Commerce Department announced Tuesday. It is the latest in a series of such high-level visits.
Last month, Ms Raimondo promised to go ahead with the visit, despite reports of Chinese hacking of her department’s emails.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that Secretary Raimondo will convey the message that the United States is not trying to sever relations with China, but will protect its own national security. It will reiterate the message that the US is focused on maintaining economic relations with China, he added.
Ms. Raimondo met with China’s ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, on Tuesday before the trip. She “raised issues of importance to the United States and American businesses and workers and discussed issues related to the US-China trade relationship, challenges facing American businesses and areas for potential cooperation,” the Commerce Department said.
On Tuesday, China welcomed the department’s decision to lift export control restrictions on 27 Chinese entities, saying the move is in favor of normal trade between Chinese and US firms.
Last week, China said it welcomed Ms Raimondo’s visit. Secretary Raimondo said recently that she intends to raise “serious concerns about the way China is targeting American technology companies, not respecting intellectual property, but on the other hand trying to identify trade routes.”
Her trip follows a four-day visit last month by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who held more than 10 hours of meetings with senior officials in Beijing.
The United States and China agreed this month to double the number of passenger flights between the two countries, in a rare sign of cooperation between the world’s two largest economies.
Ms. Raimondo was among a group of senior U.S. officials whose emails were hacked this year by a group that Microsoft MSFT.O said was based in China, according to a person briefed on the matter.
Earlier, China’s embassy in Washington said identifying the source of the cyber attacks was complex and urged against baseless speculation and accusations.