Raimondo was the first Commerce secretary to visit China in five years, having received an invitation from Chinese Minister of Commerce Weng Wentao. Her visit represented both an attempt to improve dialogue between the two economic powers and reinforce President Joe Biden’s new tech blockade against China.
“It’s a complicated relationship,” Raimondo said. “There’s no doubt about it. We are in a fierce competition with China at every level. And anyone who tells you differently is naive. All of that being said, we have to manage this competition. Conflict is in no one’s interest.”
The Commerce secretary, having joined multiple senior Cabinet officials who have visited the country in recent months, announced a new “working group” on commercial issues and established a new “information exchange” dialogue. Cabinet members who have taken recent trips to China include CIA Director Bill Burns, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
“In my trip, even the most senior Chinese officials said all of the right things, said that they wanted to have a robust commercial relationship, and treat American businesses fairly on the ground in China,” Raimondo said.