U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visits China as part of efforts to soothe strained relations

The most recent flareup came after President Joe Biden referred to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a dictator

July 06, 2023 10:35 pm | Updated 10:35 pm IST - BEIJING

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China on July 6, 2023.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China on July 6, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrived in Beijing on July 6 for meetings with Chinese leaders as part of efforts to revive relations that are strained by disputes about security, technology and other irritants.

Ms. Yellen planned to focus on stabilizing the global economy and challenging Chinese support of Russia during its invasion of Ukraine, Treasury officials in Washington told reporters ahead of the trip.

The secretary was due to meet with Chinese officials, American businesspeople and members of the public, according to Treasury officials. They gave no details, but said Ms. Yellen wouldn’t meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Ms. Yellen follows Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met Mr. Xi last month in the highest-level U.S. visit to Beijing in five years. The two agreed to stabilise relations but failed to agree on improving communications between their militaries.

Ms. Yellen earlier warned against economic decoupling, or disconnecting U.S. and Chinese industry and markets. Businesspeople have warned the world might split into separate markets, slowing innovation and economic growth, as both governments tighten controls on trade in technology and other goods deemed sensitive.

Ms. Yellen said earlier the two governments “can and need to find a way to live together” in spite of their strained relations over geopolitics and economic development.

The most recent flareup came after President Joe Biden referred to Mr. Xi as a dictator. The Chinese protested, but Biden said his blunt statements about China are “just not something I’m going to change very much.”

Relations have been strained by disputes over technology, security, China's assertive policy abroad and conflicting claims to the South China Sea and other territory.

Washington has tightened restrictions imposed by Mr. Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, on Chinese access to processor chips and other U.S. technology on security grounds.

Ties became especially testy after a Chinese surveillance balloon flew over the United States in February and was shot down.

This week, Beijing responded to U.S. technology controls by announced unspecified curbs on exports of gallium and germanium, two metals used in making semiconductors, solar panels, missiles and radar.

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