Commerce minister to visit China next week to stabilize ties

Gina Raimondo, the Commerce Secretary, will travel to Beijing and Shanghai for a series of meetings next week, becoming the latest Biden official to visit China as the United States seeks to stabilize ties between the countries.

Ms. Raimondo will meet with senior Chinese officials and American business leaders between Aug. 27 and 30, the Commerce Department said in an announcement on Tuesday. The ministry said that Ms. Raimondo looks forward to “constructive discussions on issues related to US-China trade relations, challenges for US companies and areas for potential cooperation.”

The visit comes at a time of tensions between Washington and Beijing and amid extreme volatility in China's economy, which is grappling with stagnant growth, a housing crisis and weak consumer confidence.

The Biden administration has dispatched a number of officials to China in recent months to restore some stability in bilateral ties after the flight of a Chinese surveillance balloon over the United States earlier this year severely disrupted ties.

Since June, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Presidential Climate Commissioner John Kerry have made trips to meet with counterparts in China. The meetings could potentially pave the way for Chinese leader Xi Jinping to visit the United States in the fall.

As a cabinet official most responsible for promoting the interests of American companies abroad, Ms. Raimondo is likely to seek to expand some trade ties and express concern about a recent crackdown on foreign-affiliated firms in China. A Chinese statistics agency said it had fined nearly $1.5 million against the Mintz Group, a US corporate intelligence firm raided in March after finding that the company was operating without official authorization ” foreign-related” surveys.

The meetings are also expected to address the technology restrictions overseen by Ms. Raimondo's department, which have prevented companies in fields such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing from sharing their most advanced technology with China. China has spoken out strongly against these restrictions.

Last month, US officials said Chinese hackers likely linked to the country's military or spy services obtained Ms. Raimondo's emails in a hack discovered by US State Department cybersecurity experts in June. The hackers got into email accounts of State and Commerce Department officials, US officials said.

Li you contributed research from Shanghai.

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