Commerce Leaders from US, China Fail to Find Common Ground

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with her Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao on May 25. The two traded complaints but failed to break new ground in the floundering Sino-American trade relationship.

Raimondo “raised concerns” about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) actions against U.S. companies in China, according to a statement released by the Commerce Department.

Wang, likewise, expressed concerns about U.S. efforts to prevent the regime from obtaining advanced semiconductors and other critical technologies, a statement from the CCP’s Commerce Ministry said.

The Commerce Department’s readout added that the talks included “candid and substantive discussions on issues relating to the U.S.-China commercial relationship.” These included discussion of areas of trade and investment ripe for “potential cooperation,” but neither side gave any indication that such discussion bore fruit, nor did they specify what areas cooperation might take place in.

Neither statement provided additional details about the nature of the talks, and no progress was apparently made toward resolving the nations’ ongoing disputes over technology, security, and trade. Raimondo and Wang promised to strengthen exchanges on trade issues in the future, however.

Biden Admin Seeks Talks While CCP Suppresses Foreign Businesses

The meeting of the commerce leaders took place under the shadow of a recent series of crackdowns in China, in which the CCP raided consulting firms and other foreign businesses, seizing private documents and detaining employees without apparent cause. The raids, including on U.S. companies Bain & Co., Capvision, and Mintz Group, follow the controversial expansion of national security and intelligence laws in China, which allow the regime to deny anyone in the country the right to leave.

The CCP has given no explanation for the raids, which have drawn international outrage and sparked fears of increased rights abuses by the regime against employees of foreign companies. They appear to be part of a wider crackdown on foreign companies by the CCP, however, which has sent foreign investors fleeing from China.

Despite the increasing hostility towards foreign firms in China, the Biden administration is doubling down on its efforts to woo the CCP regime back into regular diplomatic relations. To that end, Raimondo’s meeting with Wang is part of a wider effort by the administration to reset negotiations with China since Biden met with CCP leader Xi Jinping in Bali last November.

The White House initially hailed the Bali engagement as a thaw in Sino-American relations and evidence of the administration’s capacity to meaningfully engage in dialogue with the nation’s foremost competitor. Those hopes were dashed in February, however, when a Chinese spy balloon traversed across the continental United States, including over sever military sites associated with the nation’s nuclear program.

Since then, the administration has struggled to recreate its Bali moment, with officials frequently citing it in their efforts to bring China back around.

During a press call earlier in the week, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby described the process as a whole-of-government effort to recreate the “spirit of Bali.”

Raimondo, likewise, invoked Bali in her meeting with Wang, with the Commerce Department’s statement explicitly mentioning it.

From The Epoch Times

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