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BEIJING: The United States and China will set up a new working group for discussing trade tensions, Washington said Monday, as the world’s largest economy seeks to cool tensions with its strategic competitor.

Washington’s Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo reached the agreement with her Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Monday, during the latest in a series of high-level trips to China by US officials.

The trips could culminate in a meeting between leaders, with US President Joe Biden saying recently that he was expecting to sit down with China’s Xi Jinping this year.

Raimondo met on Monday morning with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, describing the economic relationship between the two countries as “the most significant in the world”.

The two sides agreed to set up a working group to “seek solutions on trade and investment issues and to advance US commercial interests in China,” according to a readout from the US Commerce Department.

The working group is set to meet twice annually, with the US hosting the first meeting next year, according to the readout.

They also agreed to establish what Washington called an “export control enforcement information exchange” — described as a platform to “reduce misunderstanding of US national security policies”.

The first meeting of the group, to be conducted by assistant secretary-level officials, will take place in Beijing on Tuesday, Washington said.

China and the United States will also aim to have annual meetings between the Commerce Secretary and their Beijing counterpart, Washington said.

“We share $700 billion dollars of trade and I concur with you that it is profoundly important that we have a stable economic relationship,” Raimondo told Wang, according to a separate readout.

“It’s a complicated relationship; it’s a challenging relationship,” she told Wang.

“We will of course disagree on certain issues, but I believe we can make progress if we are direct, open, and practical.”

Wang, in turn, told Raimondo it was a “great pleasure to conduct dialogue and coordination with you in the field of economy and trade”.

Raimondo arrived in Beijing on Sunday and was met by Lin Feng, the director of the commerce ministry’s Americas and Oceania department, as well as US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns.

In posts on the social media platform X, Raimondo said she was “looking forward to a productive few days”.

Monday also saw her visit a showcase of US beauty products for the Chinese market at a Beijing hotel, accompanied by Ambassador Burns.

She will later travel to China’s economic powerhouse Shanghai, before leaving on Wednesday, the US Department of Commerce said. Relations between the United States and China have plummeted to some of their lowest levels in decades, with US trade curbs near the top of the laundry list of disagreements.

Washington says they are crucial to safeguarding national security, but China sees them as seeking to slow its economic rise.

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test Aug 29, 2023 09:52am
My advice to China is "Never trust the Jewnited Snakes of America. Never trust Jewurope. Never trust those sitting in Jewyork, Jewington and Jewssels" and you will thank me later. China must focus on production of latest and advanced 1nm microchips locally using local resources, local talent and local manufacturing technology. China must create its own advanced engines and avionics for Comac ARJ21 and C919 and C929. China must create its own advanced medical machinery and technology related to it. Push your currency to developing world through bonds and technology transfer and make your payment processors and gateway available to those countries. I mean sky is the limit for China.
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