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Yellen ended her visit by expressing optimism about easing bilateral tensions

Posted by on 2023/07/10. Filed under Breaking News,Headline News,International. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday that relations between the United States and China are now “on a firmer footing” and that she was optimistic about easing tensions between the world’s two leading powers after a four-day visit to Beijing.

Before leaving China, Ms. Yellen told a news conference at the U.S. Embassy that the United States and China still have differences on a range of issues, but she expressed confidence that her visit had strengthened efforts to put the relationship on a “firmer” track.

Yellen said that major differences between the United States and China include China’s “unfair economic practices” and recent punitive measures against American companies, “but President Biden and I do not view the U.S.-China relationship in the framework of great power conflict.” We believe that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive.”

At the news conference, Yellen also said her visit is aimed at building and deepening ties with China’s new economic team, reducing the risk of misunderstanding and paving the way for cooperation in areas such as climate issues and debt relief. “I do believe that we have made some progress and I think we can have a healthy economic relationship that benefits both of us and the world,” she said, looking forward to increased interaction and more frequent communication at the working level.

During her four-day visit, Yellen met with Chinese female economists ranging from Premier Li Qiang to talk about “decoupling,” controls on gallium and germanium, and climate cooperation, but the pending tariff issue was not on the public agenda.

Yellen had a busy schedule Friday, meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, former vice Premier Liu He, central bank governor Yi Gang, and the newly appointed Communist Party chief of the People’s Bank of China, Pan Gongsheng. On Saturday, He mainly met with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, who is in charge of commerce and finance.

Worth mentioning was Yellen’s meeting with retired former vice Premier Liu He. The latter led China’s negotiating team in the US-China trade war and signed a phase one trade deal with Trump at the White House.

Last month, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, citing five sources, said Liu remained highly influential in internal Chinese government meetings on economic affairs even after he stepped down from all his posts. As China seeks to cooperate with the United States in some areas and push back in others, Liu’s knowledge and experience are extremely valuable to Beijing.

Unofficially, Yellen on Friday held talks with a number of U.S. executives in China, including Boeing Co., Bank of America Corp. and agricultural giant Cargill Inc., where she criticized Beijing’s harsh treatment of foreign companies and said it vindicated the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce reliance on Chinese supply chains.

At noon on Saturday, Ms. Yellen, an academic economist by training, had lunch with six female Chinese economists, including Jin Keryu, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science who is one of the few female Chinese economists active on the international stage. Her father, Jin Liqun, a former vice minister of finance, is now president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Ms Yellen has on several occasions urged more co-operation between the US and China on economic and climate issues, while criticising “punitive actions” against US companies in China. She reiterated that Washington was not seeking to decouple its economy from China because doing so would be “disastrous for both countries and destabilizing for the world.”

Ms Yellen said both sides were lowering expectations for a breakthrough in the talks, but were also relieved that there had been an opportunity for face-to-face diplomatic negotiations. “No single visit will solve our challenges overnight. But I expect that this trip will help establish a resilient and productive line of communication.”

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