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China: Sino-US economic ties ‘benefit the world’ despite ‘grave concern’ about Washington’s approach – Commerce spox following US Sec Raimondo’s visit

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Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Yuting said that economic ties between the US and China benefited the world but that Beijing still had ‘grave concern’ about Washington’s approach following the meeting between Minister Wang Wentao and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, during the briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

« [The two sides conducted] in-depth, rational, pragmatic and professional exchanges on economic and trade issues of mutual concern, » said the spokesperson. « China expresses its grave concern about such issues as the [Trump-era import] 301 tariff on China by the United States, semiconductor policy, two-way investment restrictions, discriminatory subsidies and sanctions against Chinese enterprises. »

She also stated that Beijing opposed the ‘generalisation of national security’. The Biden administration’s restrictions on the export of semiconductor chips to China due to ‘national security’ concerns was previously condemned as protectionist by Beijing.

« The implementation of unilateral protectionist measures is not in line with market rules and the principle of fair competition, and will only damage the security and stability of the global industrial chain supply chain as well as the expectations of enterprises to carry out economic and trade cooperation and destroy the atmosphere of cooperation, » she said.

The spokesperson said her country called on Washington to treat Chinese companies investing in the US ‘equally in terms of market access, supervision and law enforcement, public procurement and policy support’ and create a ‘fair, just and transparent business environment’.

She confirmed that both sides believed trade and economic relations between the two were the ‘ballast stone’ of bilateral relations and that the US side ‘said that it does not seek to decouple from China’.

« The development of stable Sino-US economic and trade relations is beneficial not only to the two countries but also to the world, » she said, adding that Wang Wentao and Raimondo had agreed to regular communication and a meeting at least once a year.

At her own press conference following the talks, Raimondo said that US firms did want to do business in China and that she hoped for further engagement on market access. Earlier, she had described the country as ‘uninvestible’.

Meanwhile Shu Yuting commented on Dutch export control regulations on semi-conductors, mirroring an earlier US policy.

« China hopes that all parties, including the Netherlands, will uphold an objective and fair position and market principles, abide by the spirit of contract and international rules, safeguard a free and open international trade order, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises, » she said.

With regard to New Delhi’s admission to RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), she said that the bloc ‘is an open and inclusive free trade agreement, and the door of RCEP is open to all parties, including India’.

It follows the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sides of the BRICS summit in South Africa. RCEP includes China, 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

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