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US-China tensions easing? Chinese commerce minister welcomes Micron to expand in domestic market

In a recent diplomatic development that indicates China’s intention to settle its differences with the US, China’s Commerce Minister, Wang Wentao, held a meeting with Sanjay Mehrotra, President and CEO of Micron Technology Inc., conveying Beijing’s open arms for the US semiconductor company to broaden its presence in the Chinese market. This gesture signifies a growing cooperation between the world’s two largest economies.

The pivotal meeting took place on November 1, where Minister Wang Wentao assured Micron Technology of China’s commitment to enhancing the investment environment for foreign entities. This commitment was accompanied by guarantees of services tailored to support foreign businesses, as disclosed in a brief statement released on the commerce ministry’s website on Friday.

In his remarks during the meeting, Minister Wang stated, “We welcome Micron Technology to continue to establish a strong presence in the Chinese market and achieve further growth, provided it adheres to Chinese laws and regulations.”

This harmonious turn of events follows a recent incident where China’s cyberspace regulator conducted a network security review, concluding that Micron had not met the required standards. Consequently, Chinese operators of vital infrastructure were prohibited from purchasing products from the most significant US memory chip manufacturer. This move was widely perceived as a retaliatory response to Washington’s efforts to limit China’s access to critical technology. It coincided with a declaration by the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized nations that they would seek to “de-risk, not decouple” from China. Additionally, Washington had been urging its allies to join in restricting the export of chip equipment to China.

The meeting held on Wednesday between Wang Wentao and Sanjay Mehrotra is part of a broader trend of improving relations between Washington and Beijing. Officials from both nations have been working towards organizing a meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, scheduled later this month at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. This diplomatic effort underscores a renewed attempt to foster cooperation and understanding between the two global economic giants.

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