US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo said the Biden administration would push for American companies to trade with China even as Washington takes an increasingly tough posture on Beijing over human rights and national security.
Raimondo pledged to help US companies gain access to China’s markets and said she sought to travel there herself once the coronavirus pandemic eases.
“There’s no point in talking about decoupling,” Raimondo told reporters on Monday. “As the president has said, we have no interest in a cold war with China. It’s too big of an economy — we want access to their economy, they want access to our economy”.
Raimondo’s remarks come as Washington and Beijing spar over China’s military activity around Taiwan, its treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region and its crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong.
Earlier this month President Joe Biden held his second call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he became president in a bid to break the impasse after a meeting in March between top US and Chinese officials ended in acrimony.
The Biden administration is reviewing Trump-era moves on technology, but the US commerce department has continued to place Chinese companies on the so-called entity list, meaning US companies require a licence to sell them sensitive technologies.
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