US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo (R) speaks next to US Ambassador to China Nick Burns (L) during a meeting with China's Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao on August 28, 2023. (Photo by Andy Wong / Pool / AFP)

US Commerce Secretary meets Chinese counterpart in Beijing

Beijing: US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with her Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Monday, saying it was “profoundly important” for the world’s two biggest economies to have a stable relationship.

Her visit is the latest in a series of high-level trips to China by US officials in recent months as Washington works to cool trade tensions with Beijing.

The trips could culminate in a meeting between their 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”.

“We share $700 billion dollars of trade and I concur with you that it is profoundly important that we have a stable economic relationship,” she said, according to a readout from the US Commerce Department.

“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.”

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”.

During her trip, she will also travel to China’s economic powerhouse Shanghai, the US Commerce Department said. She will leave on Wednesday.

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