Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen begins two days of talks Thursday with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng as the United States tries to manage tensions with Beijing and keep dialogue open on a range of issues from climate change to trade and protection.
Following Secretary Yellen’s meetings on Thursday and Friday, Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are expected to meet next week at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco.
Analysts say the meeting between Ms. Yellen and Mr. He is the latest effort to ensure that China will not back out of the planned meeting between the two heads of state. Ms. Yellen has previously emphasized a relationship based on “healthy competition” rather than mutual contempt.
Before the talks in San Francisco, Ms. Yellen told Mr. He that “the United States has no intention of disengaging from China…” but that when concerns arise “about concrete economic practices, such as those that prohibit American and employees competing on equal terms, we will express them directly”.
Mr. He told Ms. Yellen that the meetings with her have been “constructive.” He also said that US-China relations should return to “healthy and stable development”.
Maintaining the lines of communication is how Ms Yellen has so far handled her diplomacy and avoided misunderstandings about US foreign policy. She visited Beijing in July to meet with Mr. He.
“This week, I will speak with my counterpart about serious concerns about Beijing’s unfair economic practices, including the large-scale use of non-market tools, barriers to market access, and crackdowns on American companies in China.” , Ms. Yellen wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post published Monday.
In the article, Ms. Yellen also pointed out that global problems, including climate change and debt relief for developing countries, could offer opportunities for bilateral cooperation.
Some of the data for this article was obtained from Reuters news agency.