China Opens Doors to U.S. Commerce Secretary Amidst Investment Controls
BEIJING : China has expressed its openness to a potential visit by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, following the recent imposition of foreign investment controls by her agency that have impacted several Chinese companies. While no specific date has been provided, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting noted that the two countries are engaged in “close communication on arrangements,” as reported on Thursday.
Anticipated Timing and Context
There is speculation in the media that this visit could potentially take place later this month. Raimondo had previously met with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao, in Washington in May, primarily to discuss trade-related matters. The latest developments come against the backdrop of an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on August 9, which aims to regulate and block U.S. high-tech investment in China. This move underscores the growing competitive tension between the world’s two largest economies.
Scope of the Executive Order
The executive order encompasses various sectors such as advanced computer chips, microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and artificial intelligence. Officials from the Biden administration have clarified that the order’s intent is to safeguard national security objectives rather than purely economic interests. The specified categories are deliberately narrow in scope. The order aims to curtail China’s ability to leverage U.S. investments in its technology firms for military advancement while preserving the essential trade relations crucial to both nations’ economies.
China’s Response and Evaluation
Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesperson Shu mentioned that China is currently engaged in a “comprehensive assessment of the impact of the U.S. executive order” on U.S. foreign investment. The subsequent measures will be determined based on the results of this evaluation. Notably, the U.S. and China are engaged in a geopolitical competition marked by divergent values, further accentuated by the situation in Ukraine. China Opens Doors to U.S. Commerce Secretary Amidst Investment Controls
Economic Dynamics and Diplomatic Engagement
China’s willingness to engage with Raimondo is underscored by its economic circumstances, with growth reportedly slowing to 0.8% for the three months ending in June. While the nation is more receptive to economic dialogues, its response to defense officials and diplomats has been more guarded or even resistant. The Biden administration maintains that it does not aim for economic “decoupling” from China. Nevertheless, it has imposed restrictions on advanced computer chip exports and retained tariffs previously established by former President Donald Trump.
China’s Perspective and Global Impact
In response, China has accused the U.S. of employing “risk reduction” as a pretext for pursuing “decoupling and chain-breaking.” Meanwhile, China has taken measures against foreign companies, leading to a loss of confidence and prompting global companies to redirect their investment plans to other countries. The Chinese leadership’s calls for enhanced economic self-reliance have created uncertainty among investors due to the dominance of the state-driven economy.
This evolving situation highlights the complex interplay between economic interests, technological competition, and geopolitical tensions between the United States and China.