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Yellen: Talking can fix US-China trade issues.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Calls for Direct Communication with China

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged the Chinese regime to engage in direct communication regarding specific economic practices. In a conversation with China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng, Yellen emphasized the importance of communication in the face of a complex global economic outlook. The meeting, part of Yellen’s trip to Beijing, aims to improve bilateral ties, although critics argue that she lacks a position of strength in engaging with Chinese officials.

The Treasury Department described the conversation as “candid, constructive, and comprehensive,” while China’s state media called it “in-depth, frank, and pragmatic.”

During the meeting, Yellen discussed the Biden administration’s approach to healthy economic competition with China, emphasizing the need for a level playing field for American workers and businesses. She also highlighted the importance of collaboration on shared global concerns, such as debt distress and climate finance.


U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (L) shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on July 8, 2023. (Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images)

Yellen emphasized that national security should not hinder economic relations between Beijing and Washington. She expressed her belief that both countries can engage in uncontroversial economic interactions, citing the record-breaking bilateral trade in 2022 as evidence.

The talks took place amidst a downward spiral in U.S.-China relations, with recent incidents further straining the ties. However, both sides expressed a willingness to continue communication and interaction.

Climate Change and Cooperation

Prior to her meeting with Vice Premier He, Yellen stressed the importance of collaboration between China and the United States in addressing climate change. She highlighted the need for continued cooperation, citing the successful bilateral cooperation in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Yellen also called for efficient and effective climate finance, suggesting that China’s support for existing multilateral climate institutions could have a greater impact. She looked forward to hearing recommendations from working groups, including the Sustainable Finance Working Group, at the upcoming G20 summit.


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (2nd R) speaks at a climate finance roundtable discussion at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on July 8, 2023. (Mark Schiefelbein/AFP via Getty Images)

However, experts have questioned the sincerity of the Chinese regime in reducing carbon emissions, with some arguing that Beijing is using climate change to expand its global influence.

Concerns and Criticisms

Yellen’s trip to Beijing has faced criticism, including concerns about the timing and her remarks during meetings with Chinese officials. Critics argue that she lacks strength in dealing with China and prioritizes short-term corporate profit over American values.

Despite the criticisms, Yellen’s visit signifies the urgency to improve bilateral ties and address pressing global challenges.



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