Even though the United States is taking steps to protect the country’s military and tech prowess from Beijing, Washington is not looking to cut off ties with China, according to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
“We’re not seeking the decoupling from China. We want to promote trade and investment in areas that don’t threaten our core economic and national security interests or compromise human rights values,” Raimondo said while speaking to reporters on Wednesday. For several years, Washington has pursued a policy of engagement with China in hopes that Beijing will open up its economy to foreign competition, she said.
“But China took a different path,” Raimondo said.
China’s leaders have made it “very clear” that they do not intend to implement political and economic reforms or open up. Instead, they are pushing for more integration of state power in the Chinese economy and society, placing restrictions on the free flow of capital and information.
In addition, the Chinese regime is “accelerating” its attempts to fuse its military ambitions with technology and economic policies. As a result, interdependence with China is creating “significant new risks” for America’s national security.
But at the same time, Raimondo rejected the notion that the United States should isolate its economy fully from China. “We need to continue to do business with China … Trade with China supports American jobs.”
In an interview with CNBC in September, the commerce secretary revealed that Washington plans on rallying its allies to raise pressure on China, and that the only way of slowing down the rate of innovation of the nation is by working with Europe.
“They’re ripping off our IP [intellectual property], they are not playing by the rules. It’s not a level playing field. And so we need to hold their feet to the fire to make sure that they do that,” she said.
Business of Semiconductors
In October, Washington expanded its semiconductor ban on China, which experts believe will speed up America’s decoupling from Beijing.
On Oct. 7, the Department of Commerce set up new export restrictions on advanced chip manufacturing equipment and semiconductors to ensure that American technology is not used for the development of the Chinese military.
In an interview with The Epoch Times, Tsai Ming-fang, an economics professor at Tamkang University in Taipei, said that the new ban is an indication that the trend of decoupling between the two nations is more certain.
“Taiwan factories will no longer help Chinese manufacturers but will help more brands in democratic countries,” he predicted.
The Commerce Department has also issued license restrictions that prevent American citizens from working in China’s chip manufacturing industry. Breaking the rule would risk losing U.S. citizenship. The Biden administration has called on allies to pass similar semiconductor restrictions.
While speaking to CNBC earlier this month, Raimondo said that the new rule is “necessary,” even though it would negatively affect the revenue of some U.S. firms.
“This is targeted. We didn’t do this on day one. We’ve been working on this for a year. It is powerful, but it’s also targeted to get the national security job done and not punish U.S. companies,” she said.
Alex Wu contributed to the report.