U.S., China agree to exchange info on export control enforcement

The United States and China agreed Monday during Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo's trip to Beijing to exchange information on export control enforcement, the Commerce Department said, with semiconductors and advanced technology such as artificial intelligence expected to be covered.

Raimondo reached an accord with her Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao on the launch of a platform to "reduce misunderstanding of U.S. national security policies," amid intensifying rivalry between the world's two largest economies over trade in high-tech sectors.

The first in-person meeting will occur at the assistant secretary level at the Chinese Commerce Ministry on Tuesday, the department said.

During the meeting with the Chinese commerce minister, Raimondo underscored that export controls are "narrowly targeted at technologies that have clear national security or human rights impacts and are not about containing China's economic growth," it added.

Bilateral tensions have grown recently over tit-for-tat export control measures on items related to semiconductors.

Last October, the administration of President Joe Biden announced sweeping export curbs on certain advanced computing chips and related items in an effort to hobble Beijing's bid to develop technologies for military purposes.

In apparent retaliation, China tightened export controls for gallium and germanium -- rare metals crucial for chip production -- from Aug. 1.

Raimondo and Wang also agreed to establish a new working group involving government officials and private-sector representatives to seek solutions on trade and investment issues. The group will meet twice annually at the vice minister level, with the U.S. hosting the first meeting in early 2024, the department said.

The secretary and the minister will also communicate regularly about commercial and economic issues, meeting in person at least once annually, it added.

The Chinese minister expressed Beijing's readiness to cooperate with Washington to promote bilateral trade and investment during the meeting, according to Hong Kong's Phoenix TV.

Raimondo is scheduled to travel to Shanghai on Tuesday and meet with U.S. business leaders in the Asian country's commercial hub.

Her visit follows a recent series of trips by senior U.S. officials to China as Washington and Beijing explore a potential summit between Biden and his counterpart Xi Jinping later this year.

The increased communications have been taking place between the two countries despite significant disagreements remaining over nearly all major political and economic issues.

© Kyodo News