China renews call for US to lift sanctions; ‘open’ to Raimondo visit
BEIJING – China on Thursday renewed its call for the United States to lift “unilateral” sanctions against Chinese enterprises on Thursday, ahead of a possible visit by the U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Chinese companies involved in using what the U.S. calls forced labor in the far-western region of Xinjiang. China has repeatedly denied the accusations.
“The U.S. has seriously damaged Chinese companies’ interests,” China’s commerce ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting told a press conference.
“China is firmly opposed to it, and urges the U.S. side to immediately stop its unreasonable suppression of Chinese firms and lift its unilateral sanctions against them,” Shu said.
When asked about a possible visit by Raimondo, Shu said: “China is open to such a visit and is in communication with the U.S. over the matter.”
“China will remain committed to addressing economic and trade concerns through communication and dialogue, while promoting constructive and practical cooperation,” Shu said.
Raimondo said in March that the Biden administration was considering a pilot program to address risks involved in investment in China.
On Monday, China’s finance ministry said it was required the U.S. to “lift bans on Xinjiang-related products” and take “practical actions” in response to its major concerns about sanctions.
The ministry statement followed a recent visit to Beijing by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, which yielded no breakthrough but was described as “productive” by both sides.
The two countries agreed to keep channels open for economic talks.