US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressed concern to her Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao on Thursday over Beijing’s restrictions on US companies.
The officials, who met in Washington, “had candid and substantive discussions on issues relating to the US-China commercial relationship,” the US Department of Commerce said in a statement.
This included “the overall environment in both countries for trade and investment and areas for potential cooperation,” it said.
“Secretary Raimondo also raised concerns about the recent spate of PRC actions taken against US companies operating in the PRC,” the statement said, using an acronym for the People’s Republic of China.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce also said the two had “a frank, professional and constructive exchange.”
Wang “expressed key concerns on US economic and trade policies towards China,” particularly “semiconductor policies,” it added.
China imposed restrictions on US semiconductor giant Micron on Sunday, claiming that its chips posed “major network security risks” that could affect “national security.”
The United States, through a State Department spokesperson, expressed serious concerns on the issue.
The semiconductor sector is highly strategic and was already the subject of tensions between the two countries, with the United States also restricting sales of advanced chips to China.
Tensions are running high between Washington and Beijing as they engage in fierce competition on the diplomatic, military, technological and economic fronts.
They are also at loggerheads over several diplomatic issues such as Taiwan and Russia.
The two sides have resumed high-level contact in recent weeks, however.
Wang’s visit to Washington represents a rare trip for a senior Chinese official to the United States.
His meeting was “part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the relationship,” the US Commerce Department said.
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