US and China hold more trade talks despite lingering tensions

Joe Biden’s senior trade official and China’s commerce minister have held talks over economic and trade disputes in the latest sign of tentative efforts to stabilize relations between the two superpowers.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Detroit on Friday. She expressed concern about Beijing’s actions against US companies, as well as its “non-market” approach to the economy and trade policy, her office said in a statement.

Wang spoke about China’s concerns about Taiwan, Trump-era tariffs on US companies buying from China, and Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a trade deal that excludes China and focuses on infrastructure, supply chain resilience and cleanliness, according to a Chinese Commerce Department statement. . energy

The meeting took place five days after the US President predicted an imminent “thaw” in relations following the G7 summit. It also came a day after Wang held talks with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo during the first visit by a senior Chinese official to the U.S. capital since 2020.

After Friday’s meeting, both sides stressed the need to keep channels of communication open.

Earlier in May, Wang Yi, a senior Chinese diplomat, met with US national security adviser Jake Sullivan for talks in Vienna in an effort to stabilize relations between the countries.

Analysts are now stepping up calls for Washington and Beijing to capitalize on rare window of opportunity for high-level bilateral negotiations.

This includes the potential for a new round of climate change talks between John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua, the climate envoys of the world’s two largest economies, who previously announced joint action to combat climate change despite strained relationships. There is also hope that Xi and Biden will be able to meet during the APEC leaders’ summit in the US in November.

Yet despite US-China relations at their lowest point in decades, efforts to stabilize diplomatic activity continue. trying to get off the groundThe two sides are arguing over new restrictions on access to technology, as well as Xi’s support for Vladimir Putin in the face of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, China ordered a number of its infrastructure companies stop buying from American chip maker Micronjust hours after the G7 issued its harshest criticism of Beijing. On Wednesday, Xi met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Beijing and called for deepening trade, economic and energy ties with Russia, countering Western pressure to reduce support for Putin.

Also on Friday, the Justice Department filed charges against two Los Angeles residents of bribery and participation in a state-run scheme targeting US-based practitioners of Falun Gong, a religious movement banned in China.

“The Justice Department continues to expose the Chinese government’s brazen attempts at transnational repression, this time through an attempt at bribery,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement.

Additional reporting by James Politi in Washington DC and Maiqi Ding in Beijing