US, China hold more trade talks despite tensions

US, China hold more trade talks despite tensions
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Joe Biden’s top trade official and China’s commerce minister held talks on economic and trade disputes, in the latest signs of tentative efforts to stabilize ties between the two superpowers.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Detroit on Friday. She expressed concern about Beijing’s actions against US companies, as well as its “non-commercial” approach to the economy and trade policy, according to a statement from her office.

According to a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Wang spoke about Chinese concerns about Taiwan, Trump-era tariffs on US companies buying from China and Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a trade deal that excludes China. and focuses on infrastructure, supply chain resilience, and cleanliness. energy.

The meeting came five days after the US president predicted an imminent “thaw” in relations at the end of the G7 summit. It also came a day after Wang held talks with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in the first visit by a senior Chinese official to the US capital since 2020.

Following Friday’s meeting, both sides stressed the need to keep communication channels open.

In early May, Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, met with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Vienna in an attempt to stabilize relations between the countries.

Analysts are now ramping up calls for Washington and Beijing to seize a rare window of opportunity for high-level bilateral discussions.

That includes the possibility of a new round of climate change talks between John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua, the climate envoys for the world’s two largest economies, who previously promised joint action on climate change despite strained ties. There is also hope that Xi and Biden could meet during the Apec leaders’ summit in the US in November.

Still, with US-China relations at their lowest point in decades, efforts to stabilize diplomatic activities are struggling to get off the ground, with the two sides clashing over new restrictions on access to technology, as well as over Xi’s endorsement of Vladimir Putin to his face. of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

China last week ordered a portion of its infrastructure companies to stop buying US chipmaker Micron, just hours after the G7 delivered its harshest criticism of Beijing. On Wednesday, Xi met Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Beijing and called for deepening trade, economic and energy ties with Russia, defying Western pressure to reduce support for Putin.

Also Friday, the Justice Department unsealed charges against two Los Angeles residents for bribery and participation in a state-run scheme against practitioners of Falun Gong in the United States, the religious movement outlawed in China.

“The Department of Justice continues to expose the Chinese government’s brazen attempts to perpetrate a transnational crackdown, this time through attempted bribery,” Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement.

Additional reporting by James Politi in Washington and Maiqi Ding in Beijing


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