Despite the fact that US relations with China ties were deteriorating, trade between the two countries reached a new high last year.
According to official figures, commerce between the two countries will be valued $690.6 billion (£572.6 billion) in 2022.
After a Chinese balloon sailed above the United States, US-China relations have reached an all-time low. Beijing claims that we did not utilize it to spy on them.
Since 2018, the trade war has also involved the world’s two largest economies.
According to the new figures, the United States purchased $536.8 billion in goods from China last year. This occurred when more Americans purchased Chinese-made toys and cell phones. Concurrently, the United States sent $153.8 billion in commodities to China.
Some of the growth in trade between the United States and China can be attributed to growing living costs, but the figures also demonstrate how dependent the two countries remain on each other, despite years of trade conflict.
In 2018, the Trump administration began to tighten trade restrictions with China.
After years of increasing imports from China, Mr. Trump put tariffs on more than $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. As a result, China put taxes on about $100 billion worth of American goods coming into China.
After Joe Biden had been president for more than two years, most of these rules were still in place.
The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, was going to China this month. This was a sign that the US relations with China was improving.
On February 5 and 6, the United States’ top diplomat was set to go to Beijing to discuss a wide range of issues, such as security, Taiwan, and Covid-19.
But the trip was suddenly canceled after a Chinese spy balloon was found drifting across America.
Officials from China have repeatedly said that the airship is only for civilian use and that it got into the US by accident.
US President Joe Biden didn’t talk about the Chinese balloon directly in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but he did say that his government will always protect its sovereignty.
Spying is a new low in the US relations with China
Even before Anthony Blinken put off his trip to Beijing, US relations with China were at an all-time low.
When, a day before he left, what looked like a Chinese spy balloon over the state of Montana stirred up the tensions he was trying to ease, it was painfully clear how bad things had gotten.
In the end, China’s foreign ministry said that the unmanned airship had been used to study the weather and had been blown off course by the wind.
Beijing might not have wanted the incident to ruin the first-ever trip of a secretary of state. But, it was too late, though.
A few hours after China said it was sorry, the US State Department canceled the trip.
Given how far apart they are now, the fact that the trip was happening at all was a good thing.
But now, all that’s left is the feeling that a huge opportunity was lost.
US officials had made it clear that making progress wasn’t the goal. So instead, talking was the point.
Mr. Blinken does not want “competition to turn into a fight.”
The two biggest economies in the world have been having a hard time.
In recent years, US relations with China has worsened because of a trade war started by Trump, tensions over Taiwan, and a more assertive China led by Xi Jinping. When China didn’t say anything bad about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it fell even more.
Then, at the G20 summit in November, Vice President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping met.
Both leaders didn’t want to start a fight, so they said less.
And Mr. Blinken had something to add.
Even before the balloon went up, the tone of what was being said had changed.
The US has kept putting restrictions on the economy and building up its military in the area, which has made Beijing angry.
Last week, Japan, the Netherlands, and the US agreed to stop sending high-tech equipment to make chips to China.
This wouldn’t be the first time the US has tried to cut Beijing off from sensitive semiconductor technology and supply chains.
Chris Miller, an international history professor who wrote a book about the tensed US relations with China over chip technology, says this shows that the US has become much stricter about tech transfer and is trying to get key allies on board.
The US military has said in the past few days that it is sending more troops to the Philippines. This is one of several steps the US is taking to strengthen its alliances in the region as it prepares to stand up to China as worries about a possible war with Taiwan grow.
The Biden administration still wanted to talk, though.
Mr. Blanchett said that the White House thought this was a good time to do it because it had gotten some breathing room from a skeptical Congress about China by showing that it was tough on Beijing and going further than what former President Donald Trump had done.
Instead, the balloon gave Republicans a chance to say that China’s “brazen disregard for US sovereignty” needed to be stopped.
Officials from the State Department made it clear that they hadn’t given up and that diplomatic contacts were still trying to set up another meeting.
But they didn’t say when which gave the impression that their relationship was in limbo.