China’s Ambassador to the United States, Xie, emphasized the importance of finding a path to enhance mutually beneficial economic cooperation and trade between China and the United States during a recent address.
In his remarks, Ambassador Xie stressed the need for continued efforts, even if they appear small, to foster stronger ties between the two nations. He highlighted specific examples, such as facilitating easier travel between China and the U.S. and renewing agreements related to cooperation in science and technology.
While acknowledging the challenges brought about by a decline in global demand, Xie noted that China maintains its position as a global trade leader, particularly in industries such as electric vehicles. He pointed out that countries like France, the United Kingdom, and Japan had significantly increased their foreign investments in China during the first half of the year.
In a bid to enhance the investment climate, Xie assured that China would make further efforts to protect foreign investments and ensure fair treatment for foreign-invested enterprises.
The Ambassador’s comments came in the wake of U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s recent visit to China. Following meetings with Chinese government officials, both nations agreed to establish regular channels of communication on commerce, export controls, and safeguarding trade secrets.
However, Raimondo made it clear that certain issues, such as export controls and the executive order on outbound investment screening, were non-negotiable due to national security concerns. The U.S. government’s restrictions on Chinese companies’ purchase of advanced semiconductors from U.S. businesses have been justified on national security grounds.
Ambassador Xie raised concerns about the disparity in tariffs between the two nations. He cited that while the average U.S. tariffs on Chinese products stood at 19%, Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods averaged 7.3%. He questioned the fairness of this situation and its alignment with U.S. interests.
Xie assumed his role as China’s Ambassador to the U.S. in May, following a period of approximately six months without a Chinese ambassador in Washington.
The recent executive order signed by U.S. President Joe Biden, aimed at restricting U.S. investments in Chinese semiconductor, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence firms, was criticized by Xie as a violation of the principles of free trade. He expressed his view that such restrictions would hinder the development of American businesses in China, rather than contain China as intended.
During her visit to China, Secretary Raimondo held discussions with numerous businesses and noted a growing sentiment among them that investing in China had become too risky. She emphasized the importance of predictability, due process, and a level playing field for businesses looking to engage in China.