US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told her Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao, of her “concern” over restrictions imposed by Beijing on US companies amid diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
The US Commerce Department said in a statement that the two ministers “had candid and substantive discussions on issues related to the trade relationship between the United States and China, including the general climate for trade and investment and areas of potential cooperation between the two countries.”
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The statement added that Raimondo “also expressed its concern about the series of recent measures taken by China against US companies operating in this country,” without further details.
On Sunday, Beijing imposed restrictions on the US semiconductor giant Micron, justifying its decision that the company’s chips “pose potential network security risks” and could threaten “China’s national security.”
Beijing’s restrictions on US chipmaker Micron represent a major step in its response to pressure from Washington and could open the door to further action in the geopolitical standoff, analysts say.
On Monday, Washington expressed, through a spokesperson for the US State Department, its “very serious concerns” about these restrictions.
The semiconductor sector is highly strategic and has been the subject of tensions between the two countries, as the United States imposed restrictions on sales of high-tech electronic chips to China.
Wang’s visit to Washington is a rare step for a Chinese official of this high level since tensions escalated between the two countries following the US downing of a Chinese balloon over its territory.
While Washington said that the balloon was a spy, Beijing denied this, stressing that it was a research balloon that had lost its way.
The US Commerce Department said Thursday that the Wang and Raimondo meeting “is part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the relationship.”