U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will travel to Beijing next week for “constructive discussions” with officials amid stabilization efforts with China, one month after being hacked by a Chinese-based cyber-attack group.
Raimondo will meet with Chinese officials and American business leaders from August 27-30 to discuss “issues relating to the U.S.-China commercial relationship, challenges faced by U.S. businesses, and areas for potential cooperation,” according to a Commerce Department press release from Tuesday. Raimondo’s email servers were hacked by a Chinese-based group in July as part of a larger cyber-attack effort against two dozen global organizations. (RELATED: Janet Yellen Says She Ate ‘Hallucinogenic’ Mushrooms On Chinese Diplomatic Trip)
China’s Ministry of Commerce confirmed that Minister Wang Wentao sent the invitation to Raimondo, but specific details about the upcoming discussions were not provided, according to The Associated Press.
Raimondo’s visit comes just one month after her email server – along with other servers in the Commerce and State Department – were breached by “Storm-0558,” a Chinese-based hacking group that targeted 25 different global organizations over a months-long cyber attack campaign. Microsoft confirmed in mid-July that the breach had been successfully mitigated.
“The targeting was intentional. This was an attack that was limited in scope and was not an attempt to compromise a broad array of organizations or accounts, as we have seen in other types of campaigns,” a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) official said at the time.
Raimondo has historically been critical of Beijing’s aggressive economic policies and worked within the Commerce Department to impose sanctions on Chinese exports and imports. The Commerce also Department oversees the U.S. government’s “entity list,” a blacklist of 600 Chinese entities restricted from importing American technology without a license.
“China’s government also gives unfair advantages to its own industries in ways that displace American workers and businesses – and those of our allies and partners – from the global market,” Raimondo said in a 2022 statement.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order earlier in August restricting certain investments in Chinese technology companies that have helped advance China’s growing military. The order specifically covered companies that develop semiconductors, quantum information systems and artificial intelligence systems.
China said it is evaluating the order and will “take the necessary response measures based on the results of the assessment,” according to the AP.
The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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