BEIJING (AP) — China says it would welcome a visit by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo following the imposition of foreign investment controls by her agency that have stung numerous Chinese companies.
Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting did not offer a date, but said the countries are in “close communication on arrangements,” according to reports Thursday.
Media have speculated that a visit could come as early as later this month. Raimondo last met her Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao, in Washington in May to discuss trade.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Aug. 9 to block and regulate U.S. high-tech investment in China, reflecting the intensifying competition between the world’s two biggest economies.
The order covers advanced computer chips, micro electronics, quantum information technologies and artificial intelligence.
Senior administration officials said the effort is related to national security goals rather than economic interests and the categories it covers are intentionally narrow in scope. The order seeks to blunt China’s ability to use U.S. investments in its technology companies to upgrade its military while also preserving broader levels of trade that are vital for both nations’ economies.
Shu said China is conducting a “comprehensive assessment of the impact of the U.S. executive order” on U.S. foreign investment and will “take the necessary response measures based on the results of the assessment.”
The United States and China are increasingly locked in a geopolitical competition with a conflicting set of values, including over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, with its economic growth sliding to 0.8% for the three months ending in June, China appears far more willing to engage with Raimondo than with defense officials and diplomats, whom it has fully or partly rebuffed.
Biden administration officials have insisted that they have no interest in economic “decoupling” from China, yet it also has limited the export of advanced computer chips and retained the expanded tariffs set up by former President Donald Trump.
In response, China has accused the U.S. of “using the cover of ‘risk reduction’ to carry out ‘decoupling and chain-breaking.’”
China has meanwhile engaged in crackdowns on foreign companies, prompting a loss of confidence and the shifting of investment plans by global companies to other countries.
Calls by Chinese leader Xi Jinping and others for more economic self-reliance have left investors uneasy about their future in the state-dominated economy.