Washington, DC (Reuters) —
The United States (US) Treasury Department, Friday (22/9), said it had officially launched two new US-China working groups on economic and financial issues aimed at providing a regular policy communication forum between the world’s two largest economies.
In a statement, the Treasury Department said the two groups would “meet regularly” and report to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng.
China’s Ministry of Finance will be the Ministry of Finance’s partner for the Economic Working Group, while the People’s Bank of China will be the Financial Working Group’s partner.
The group’s creation follows Yellen’s visit to Beijing in July, where she met with He and other senior officials to re-establish communication on economic and financial issues after years of deteriorating relations.
Finance Minister Janet Yellen, left, shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng during a meeting at the “Diaoyutai” State Guest House in Beijing, China, July 8, 2023.
Yellen said on social media field of global challenges.”
“It is very important for us to speak out, especially when we have different opinions,” he added.
China’s Ministry of Finance and China’s central bank issued statements confirming the creation of the economic and financial working group, but provided few details other than to say it aimed to strengthen communication and collaboration on these issues.
A senior Treasury Department official said Yellen had reiterated to Chinese officials that the US would use the group to promote cooperation wherever possible with China on global challenges, including debt restructuring for distressed developing countries, climate finance and anti- money laundering.
The creation of the two working groups also follows Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s agreement with Chinese officials in August to create a working group on US export controls aimed at clarifying US policy.
The Treasury Department and the State Department have in recent years held annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings with China. However, the forum ended in 2017 after former president Donald Trump took office, prompting a more confrontational approach to China in Washington that sparked a years-long tariff war between the two countries. (pp/ft)