US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said there are “legitimate concerns” with Chinese investments in the US as it relates to national security.
“We have to be real about those concerns,” Raimondo told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview for CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“So to the extent that Chinese investors, buying farmland, buying US businesses, erodes our national security, then we should stop it.”
The commerce secretary traveled to Beijing and Shanghai last week to discuss US-China commercial ties, challenges faced by US businesses and areas for potential cooperation. Raimondo, who is the first US commerce secretary to visit China in years, spent her time trying to restore communication with her Chinese counterparts.
While speaking at an American Chamber of Commerce event in Shanghai, the secretary urged American businesses to keep investing in China on Wednesday, even after saying some US firms had called the world’s second biggest economy “uninvestable.”
Raimondo also sought to convince Chinese officials that the United States was not seeking to decouple from China’s economy or hold it back.
“I spoke with more than 100 business leaders myself in the US across a range of industries,” Raimondo told Bash. “And I asked them, ‘what should I be trying to get done here?’ And by far what they said was open lines of communication so we can do the business of resolving issues.”
Raimondo added, “That’s what I was able to accomplish, which I think is very significant. If you can’t talk in a structured way about real commercial issues, you have no chance of solving these issues.”
She told Bash that a certain amount of investment is good for commerce, but the Biden administration is being “vigilant about not allowing Chinese investment in the US that we think hurts our national security.”
Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said Beijing was also ready to work with Washington, adding that bilateral economic relations were important not just to the two countries, but to the rest of the world.