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BEIJING: China on Thursday renewed its call for the United States to lift “unilateral” sanctions against Chinese enterprises on Thursday, ahead of a possible visit by the US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

The US has imposed sanctions on Chinese companies involved in using what the US calls forced labour in the far-western region of Xinjiang. China has repeatedly denied the accusations.

“The US has seriously damaged Chinese companies’ interests,” China’s commerce ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting told a press conference.

“China is firmly opposed to it, and urges the US side to immediately stop its unreasonable suppression of Chinese firms and lift its unilateral sanctions against them,” Shu said.

When asked about a possible visit by Raimondo, Shu said: “China is open to such a visit and is in communication with the US over the matter.” “China will remain committed to addressing economic and trade concerns through communication and dialogue, while promoting constructive and practical cooperation,” Shu said.

Raimondo said in March that the Biden administration was considering a pilot programme to address risks involved in investment in China.

On Monday, China’s finance ministry said it was required the US to “lift bans on Xinjiang-related products” and take “practical actions” in response to its major concerns about sanctions.

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