Another US cabinet member heads to China

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo wraps up a four-day visit to China today (Wednesday).

🇺🇸 Raimondo has relayed various messages while in town, including that:

🇨🇳 For China’s part, senior reps like Premier Li Qiang said:

Intrigue’s take: If this all sounds like a balancing act, that’s because it is. The sheer surface area of interaction between the two countries is so vast, it’s possible (and inevitable) that multiple things hold true at once.

So the theory here is to leverage the economic to help stabilise the political, particularly ahead of President Xi’s presumed visit to San Francisco for APEC in November. And dialogue is the key first step.

But with trust so low, it’s unclear at this point who’s still really listening.

Also worth noting:

  • The US Secretary of State, Treasury Secretary, and Climate Envoy have also visited since June. There’ve been no reciprocal visits from China yet.
  • Secretary Raimondo’s email was among those reportedly compromised by a China-based hacker group in June.
  • There are now 24 commercial flights between China and the US each week. That number stood at more than 300 pre-pandemic.
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