The United States will keep pressing China to address economic practices that create disadvantages for U.S. companies, but is not seeking to cut economic ties with the Asian powerhouse, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Wednesday.

While slamming Beijing over the massive financial support it provides to Chinese companies and its alleged intellectual property theft, Raimondo said in a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "We are not seeking the decoupling in any way of our economy from that of China's."

"We want to promote trade and investment in areas that don't threaten our national security or human rights values," she added, noting that China is the third largest export market for the United States and that those exports directly support 750,000 American jobs.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has been traveling to Romania, also reiterated during a press conference in Bucharest the U.S. position of "not looking to decouple our economies," and not seeking a conflict with China as competition intensifies in military, economic, technological and other areas.

The officials' remarks came as the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden continues to tighten restrictions on China's access to cutting-edge technologies such as semiconductors.

In October, the Commerce Department unveiled a sweeping set of export controls on certain high-end chips that could be used by Beijing to train artificial intelligence systems and power advanced applications in the military and surveillance fields.

Raimondo said that during most of the past 50 years, the United States was committed to the idea that "economic engagement with China would serve our mutual interests," first as a counterweight to the Soviet Union and later as "a gateway to a deeper political and economic partnership."

"But now it is clear that China took a different path," she added, saying the most disturbing aspect may be the acceleration of efforts to "fuse economic and technology policies with their military ambitions."

The United States is partnering with its allies to advance their shared values and "shape the strategic environment in which China operates," including through groups such as the Quad, the secretary said, referring to the partnership between the United States and three other major Indo-Pacific democracies -- Japan, Australia and India.

Blinken, meanwhile, said during an interview with CNN in Romania that a key purpose of his planned trip to China early next year will be to continue communication between the two countries following the recent meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the Indonesian island of Bali.

The world's two largest economies are not only expected to manage their relationship responsibly but to explore cooperation in whatever areas possible, he said.

"It's going to be up to China to decide whether it wants to participate in that kind of cooperation on things like climate, on global health, on the macroeconomic environment that we're all living in as we try to get beyond COVID and pursue an economic recovery," he added, according to a transcript provided by the State Department.

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