Commerce secretary traveling to China amid tensions

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will visit China next week amid heightened tensions between the two countries, the Department of Commerce announced Tuesday. 

Raimondo’s trip follows visits by President Biden and other top U.S. officials and aims “to deepen communication between the U.S.” and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on a “range of issues.”

Raimondo will depart Sunday and will travel to Beijing and Shanghai. She will meet with senior officials of the PRC and with U.S. business leaders, the statement said. She will return the following Wednesday, Aug. 30. 

“While in the PRC, Secretary Raimondo looks forward to constructive discussions on issues relating to the U.S.-China commercial relationship, challenges faced by U.S. businesses, and areas for potential cooperation,” the statement read. 

Raimondo is the latest member of Biden’s cabinet to travel to China in an effort to ease tensions. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to China in July, following Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip in June, which had been postponed from February due to a controversy around a Chinese spy balloon that flew over much of the country and was ultimately shot down by the U.S. military.

Tensions with China have risen in the past few years, prompted in part by economic tariffs, trade and the relationship between China and Russia as Moscow wages war in Ukraine. China’s aggression in the South China Sea has also been met with U.S. condemnation.  

Biden has taken several steps to boost domestic production of certain technologies, while also curbing military capabilities in China. Earlier this month, he issued an executive order blocking Americans from investing in certain Chinese sectors, citing the risk that the investments could lead to military or intelligence capabilities.  

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