Home News Blinken’s visit to China boosts some ties, while U.S. cuts others

Blinken’s visit to China boosts some ties, while U.S. cuts others

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken cheered from the sidelines of a basketball game in Shanghai on Wednesday night, chatted with students and met with U.S. business owners at New York University’s Shanghai campus on Thursday. This all underscores the economic, educational and cultural ties that the United States clearly advocates for the benefit of both countries.

But during his visit to China this week, the United States is taking several steps to sever economic ties in areas the Biden administration says threaten U.S. interests. These will also become the focus of more attention for Chinese officials.

Even as the Biden administration attempts to stabilize relations with China, it is advancing a number of economic measures to curb Chinese access to the U.S. economy and technology.Prepare to increase tariffs on Chinese products steel, Solar panels and other critical products in an attempt to protect U.S. factories from cheap imports. It is considering further restricting China’s access to advanced semiconductors in an attempt to prevent Beijing from developing sophisticated artificial intelligence that could be used on the battlefield.

This week, Congress also passed legislation forcing TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance to sell its stake in the app within nine to 12 months or leave the United States entirely.president Signed Wednesday, although the measure could be challenged in court.

Blinken is expected to travel to Beijing on Friday for high-level government meetings, a visit that will strike a much more cordial tone than when he visited China last year.That trip was the first time since Chinese spy balloon Traveled across the United States and caused an uproar among the American public.

In a meeting with Shanghai’s party chief on Thursday morning, Blinken said direct engagement between the United States and China was both valuable and necessary.

“We have an obligation to our people, and indeed to the world, to responsibly manage the relationship between our two countries,” he said.

Speaking to students at NYU’s Shanghai campus later that morning, he said the educational exchanges students engage in provide “ballast” to a complex and adversarial relationship.

Since President Biden met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in California in November, U.S.-China relations appear to be more stable, without the dramatic ups and downs seen in the trade dispute under former President Donald J. Trump.

But the Biden administration is still moving toward a more restrictive economic relationship with China, and Xi Jinping has strongly stated that commercial interests take second place to national security concerns.

That includes control of semiconductor technology, which both sides see as a more salient issue than ever before. The Biden administration has been considering further export controls, particularly targeting factories that have helped Chinese tech giant Huawei produce advanced semiconductors.

“By explicitly trying to undermine China’s technological capabilities, particularly in advanced artificial intelligence, the United States has put export controls at the forefront of the U.S.-China agenda,” said Emily Benson, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Washington think tank.

In a phone call between Biden and Xi earlier this month, both leaders identified technology control as a crucial issue.

The White House stated that Biden emphasized that the United States will continue to take necessary actions to prevent advanced American technologies from being used to undermine its national security, but will not excessively restrict trade and investment.

Xi Jinping said that imposing new sanctions on China is not to “remove risks” but to create risks. If the United States insists on “containing China’s high-tech development and depriving China of its legitimate right to development, China will not sit idly by.” according to Official Xinhua News Agency.

U.S. officials say their restrictions are necessary given China’s authoritarian government and centralized economic model. But the moves have angered China’s leaders and pushed tensions over economic measures to their highest point in years.

These measures don’t just come from the U.S. government: China has moved toward a more self-sufficient industrial policy and has been seeking to replace the U.S. under Xi Jinping, said Susan Shirk, author of “Overreach: How China Sabotaged Its Peaceful Rise.” , the United States became a high-tech superpower.

“Xi Jinping has publicly acknowledged that while he wants China to reduce its reliance on other countries, he wants other countries to continue to rely on China, as he puts it, ‘as a strong countermeasure and deterrent,’ ‘to prevent them from cutting off supplies,'” “Sheik said.

Even as Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders try to reassure foreign businesses that their investments are welcome, China has also allowed security concerns to affect a larger share of its economy.New national security law extends Beijing’s reach into Hong Kong threaten The city’s status as a financial center. U.S. executives are alarmed by China’s investigations of foreign companies and the country’s broader rules prohibiting the sharing of data and information with foreigners.

While China has expressed dissatisfaction with the U.S. government’s efforts to crack down on TikTok, China itself has banned other Western social media services for decades.apple said last week Beijing has ordered WhatsApp and Threads to be removed from Chinese app stores.

Blinken and other U.S. officials have emphasized that U.S. export controls, sanctions and other restrictions on Chinese technology companies apply to only a small part of the broader U.S.-China relationship. Elsewhere, they say, trade is encouraged.

The U.S.-China Business Council, a group of 270 U.S. companies doing business in China, estimated in a report this week that U.S. exports to China supported more than 900,000 U.S. jobs in 2022, although 2023 Annual exports of goods fell due to economic, U.S. tariffs and other factors.

“We must remind U.S. lawmakers and influential people that every state and congressional district in the United States maintains its own economic and trade relations with China, and changes in U.S.-China trade policy should be considered very carefully,” he said. Craig Allen, the group’s president.

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