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Blinken raises Chinese trade practices

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Shanghai, April 25: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised what the US describes as unfair Chinese trade practices during his first full day of meetings in China on Thursday with local government officials in the financial hub of Shanghai.
Blinken met with the city’s top official, Communist Party Secretary Chen Jining, and “raised concerns about (Chinese) trade policies and non-market economic practices,” the State Department said in a statement.
It said he stressed that the United States seeks healthy economic competition with China and “a level playing field for US workers and firms operating in China.” “The two sides reaffirmed the importance of ties between the people of the United States and (China), including the expansion of exchanges between students, scholars, and business,” it said.
China’s multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the US along with accusations of intellectual property theft and other practices seen as discriminating against US businesses in China have long been a source of friction in relations. China, for its part, has objected strongly to US accusations of human rights abuses and Washington’s support for Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing considers its own territory and warns could be annexed by force.
Blinken also spoke with students and business leaders before flying to Beijing for what are expected to be contentious talks with national officials, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi and possibly President Xi Jinping.
Blinken arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday shortly before US President Joe Biden signed a USD 95 billion foreign aid package that has several elements likely to anger Beijing, including USD 8 billion to counter China’s growing aggressiveness toward Taiwan and in the South China Sea. (AP)

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