Yellen acknowledges “important disagreements” between the US and China but is committed to communication

Beijing (BLAZETRENDS).- The US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, affirmed today in Beijing that the United States and China maintain “important disagreements”, but both sides must “communicate clearly and directly” to stabilize the relationship.

“The US and China have important disagreements. But these must be communicated clearly and directly. This is not a major power struggle, because the world is big enough for both of our countries to prosper. But we have an obligation to manage the relationship responsibly. We have to find a way to live together and share global prosperity,” Yellen said at a press conference after her visit to China.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admits that the US and China compete but calls for “rules”

He added that his trip had the objective of “addressing the challenges and opportunities” that both countries face, as well as “establishing and deepening relations with the new economic team in Beijing.”

“These discussions have been part of a concerted and comprehensive effort to stabilize the relationship, reduce the risks stemming from misunderstandings and discuss areas of cooperation,” said Yellen, who in recent days met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang; with the new head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the People’s Bank, Pan Gongsheng; with the Minister of Finance, Liu Kun, or with the Chinese vice-premier responsible for economic policy, He Lifeng.

US Secretary of State Janet Yellen in Beijing.
US Secretary of State Janet Yellen in Beijing. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/Mark R. Cristino

According to Yellen, during the talks the “pillars” of the economic relationship were discussed, and she assured that the dialogue was “direct and productive.”

Economy and political options

“We have talked about each other’s economies and political options, which I think is vital because we are the two largest economies in the world. Even when we don’t agree, I think it’s important to value discussions being frank and in-depth,” he noted.

Yellen indicated that during their conversations he made it clear that “both President Joe Biden and I seek a future of healthy economic competition between the two countries.”

“We believe that a long-term, mutually beneficial economic relationship that supports growth and innovation on both sides is possible. The US is not seeking to disengage from China. But it is one thing to decouple and another to diversify the most critical supply chains or adopt specific measures for reasons of national security ”, he asserted.

Yellen said that “a decoupling of the world’s two largest economies would be disastrous for both countries and destabilizing for the world. And it would be something impossible to undertake. We want a dynamic and healthy global economy, open, free and fair, not one that is fragmented or forces countries to take sides.”

“This healthy competition will be sustainable if it benefits both parties. I made clear our concerns about China’s unfair economic practices, non-market-based policies, barriers to Chinese market access for foreign companies, and intellectual property issues,” he said.

Fair treatment

According to Yellen, “fair treatment is essential for American companies and workers to compete on a level playing field and benefit economically from trade and investment with China.”

“I have also expressed concern about a recent increase in enforcement actions against US companies. A shift to a more market-oriented system in China will benefit the interests of the US and other countries but also the Chinese economy,” he concluded.

US Secretary of State Janet Yellen in Beijing today during a press conference.
US Secretary of State Janet Yellen in Beijing today during a press conference. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/Mark R. Cristino

Yellen’s trip to China took place two weeks after the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, traveled to Beijing, and it was yet another attempt to reduce tension between the two powers.

The visit comes months after Washington imposed restrictions on the export of US-made semiconductors and materials, a move aimed at limiting Beijing’s ability to make parts needed to run supercomputers or advanced military systems.

Although there has been no official confirmation, the Wall Street Journal reported days ago that the United States is considering new restrictions on exports of artificial intelligence chips to China.

This Monday, Beijing counterattacked by announcing restrictions on the export of gallium and germanium, two key metals for the manufacture of semiconductors, a product that is at the center of commercial and technological tensions between the two.

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