US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gestures as she leaves a press conference at the US Embassy in Beijing, China, 09 July 2023. EFE-EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

Yellen sees ‘important disagreements’ between US, China

Beijing, Jul 9 (EFE).- United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday in Beijing that her country and China disagree on major issues and called on stabilizing the relationship.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (C) speaks during a press conference at the US Embassy in Beijing, China, 09 July 2023. EFE-EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

“The U.S. and China have significant disagreements. Those disagreements need to be communicated clearly and directly. (…) We believe that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive. Both nations have an obligation to responsibly manage this relationship: to find a way to live together and share in global prosperity,” Yellen told a news conference after her visit to China.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reacts as she leaves a press conference at the US Embassy in Beijing, China, 09 July 2023. EFE-EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

She added that her trip was aimed at “addressing the challenges and opportunities” both countries face, as well as “establishing and deepening relations with the new economic team in Beijing.”

“Our discussions are part of a broader concerted effort to stabilize the relationship, reduce the risk of misunderstanding, and discuss areas of cooperation,” said Yellen, who in recent days met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. She also met Pan Gongsheng, Chinese Communist Party leader at the People’s Bank, Finance Minister Liu Kun and Chinese economic policy Vice-Premier He Lifeng.

Yellen said they spoke of the “pillars” of the economic relationship between the countries, adding that the dialogue was “direct and productive.”

“We were able to learn more about each other’s economies and policy choices, which I believe is vital as the world’s two largest economies. Even where we don’t see eye-to-eye, I believe there is clear value in the frank and in-depth discussions we had on the opportunities and challenges in our relationship, and the better understanding it gave us of each country’s actions and intentions,” she said.

Yellen said that during their conversations she made it clear that “President Biden and I do not see the relationship between the U.S. and China through the frame of great power conflict.”

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

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 force countries to take sides”.

Yellen’s trip to China took place two weeks after US States Secretary Antony Blinken traveled to Beijing, 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.

On 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. EFE