Yellen optimistic about US-China relations after productive meetings

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US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen concluded her four-day trip to Beijing, stating that the 10 hours of meetings with senior Chinese officials were constructive and helped improve the often turbulent relationship between the two superpowers.

While acknowledging significant disagreements on various issues such as unfair economic practices and punitive actions against US firms, Yellen expressed confidence that the visit contributed to establishing a more stable foundation for the bilateral relationship.

Yellen emphasized that President Joe Biden and herself do not view the US-China relationship through the lens of great power conflict, believing that both countries can thrive in a world big enough for both of them.

Given the strained relations over national security concerns and economic policies, the US has been actively seeking to repair ties with China. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently visited Beijing, and climate envoy John Kerry is expected to visit shortly.

Yellen’s visit aimed to forge stronger connections with China’s new economic team, mitigate the risk of misunderstandings, and facilitate cooperation on critical issues like climate change and debt distress. She expressed optimism about establishing a healthy economic relationship that benefits both nations and the world.

Yellen also highlighted the importance of enhanced and regular communication at the staff level, allowing both sides to address concerns and unintended consequences of their actions.

During her visit, Yellen met with top officials including Premier Li Qiang and Pan Gongsheng, whom she referred to as the head of the central bank, indicating his anticipated promotion. The diplomatic efforts between the US and China are in preparation for a potential meeting between President Biden and President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in September or the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering in November.