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US Treasury chief seeks to mend ties with China

Janet Yellen will visit Beijing this week to discuss how to “responsibly manage” relations between the biggest economic powers

US President Joe Biden’s administration has confirmed plans to send a high-level cabinet official to Beijing for the second time in less than a month to help shore up relations with China amid rising tensions over the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Taiwanese separatism.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is scheduled to visit China on July 6-9 for talks with Chinese leaders on strengthening cooperation between the world’s two largest economies. Yellen will speak with Chinese officials about the need for the two countries to “responsibly manage our relationship, communicate directly about areas of concern, and work together to address global challenges,” the US Treasury Department said on Sunday in a statement.

Yellen’s trip will come nearly three weeks after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing to ease tensions between the two governments. Blinken hailed his “candid” talks with Xi and other Chinese leaders, saying their meetings had helped stabilize Sino-US relations.


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US President Joe Biden appears at a White House welcoming ceremony for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
Biden assesses impact of calling Xi a ‘dictator’

However, one day after his chief diplomat wrapped up his long-awaited trip, Biden triggered a new controversy by referring to Xi as a “dictator” while speaking to political donors in California. The Chinese government responded by lodging a formal complaint through its embassy in Washington and calling in US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns to deliver an official reprimand for what it called a “political provocation.”

Biden and Blinken both stood by the president’s “dictator” comment, saying it wouldn’t hinder reconciliation efforts between the governments. Blinken said Biden “always speaks candidly,” so the insult shouldn’t have come as a surprise to Beijing.

The US Treasury Department also pointed out that Yellen’s trip followed Biden’s directive last November to deepen communication with the Chinese government on “a range of issues, including on the global macroeconomy and financial developments.”


READ MORE: Biden willing to damage US economy to counter China – US Treasury

As treasury secretary, Yellen is Washington’s top economic policymaker. US officials haven’t disclosed which Chinese leaders she plans to meet with on her trip. She reportedly does not have a meeting booked with Xi. The Chinese Finance Ministry issued only a one-sentence statement confirming the dates of her visit.

Yellen has been critical of China’s response to the Ukraine crisis, saying Beijing’s “no-limits partnership and support for Russia is a worrisome indication that it is not serious about ending the war.” Xi’s government announced a 12-point peace proposal to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February. US and NATO officials dismissed the plan, saying China lacked credibility on the issue.

READ MORE: US warns Russia and China over dollar alternative


July 04, 2023 at 02:36AM

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