Raimondo: U.S. seeks to limit China's military capacity through trade measures

Commerce Gina Raimondo said Sunday that while the United States will continue to sell semiconductor chips to China, advanced tech used in military applications will be limited. File Photo by Rod Lamkey/UPI

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The United States intends to impose limitations on China's military through trade restrictions on the most advanced computer chips, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday.

Appearing on NBC's Meet The Press, Raimondo said the United States will sell billions of dollars worth of semiconductor chips to China. However, the chips will not be as sophisticated as those needed for military applications.

Raimondo was asked if the United States would export chips to China "in a way that China doesn't feel we're trying to choke their military technology." She responded that the United States does in fact intend to limit the capabilities of the Chinese military.

Raimondo is the fourth high-level U.S. official to make a trip to China this year, following Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director Bill Burns.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Weng Wentao extended the invitation to Raimondo, making her the first Commerce secretary in five years to hold a meeting in China.

She told NBC that she confronted the officials about being attacked by Chinese hackers earlier this year.

"They did hack me, which was unappreciated to say the least," she said. "I brought it up, clearly. Put in right on the table. Didn't pull any punches."

Though Raimondo expressed that she was stern with her Chinese counterparts, she said the communication between both countries is important to curb rising tensions.

"We are in a fierce competition with China at every level, and anyone who tells you differently is naive," Raimondo said. "All of that being said, we need to manage this competition. Conflict is in no one's interest."