May 25, 2024

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Yellen pleads for “healthy competition” between China and US in Beijing – 07/07/2023 at 10:57

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (right) arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport on July 6, 2023 (POOL/Pedro PARDO)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen argued in Beijing on Friday that there was a “healthy rivalry” between China and the US, despite trade tensions between the two leading world powers that are “almost impossible” to separate.

“We want healthy economic competition, not a decent living, but a fair set of rules that benefit both countries,” Yellen said during a meeting with Premier Li Keqiang, her special task force on economic issues.

The Treasury Secretary, who will make his first trip to China since taking office in 2021, called for “differences” not to “unnecessarily worsen” relations between the two countries.

The reports come as some US politicians have called for months to reduce Washington’s reliance on the Asian giant, amid rising geopolitical tensions.

Ms. Yellen called for caution on the matter. “Cutting out the world’s two largest economies would destabilize the global economy,” he warned of American business leaders.

The visit comes just weeks after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced a bid by the Biden administration to renew physical ties with Beijing, after three years of almost total isolation from China due to the health crisis.

“In the Biden administration, Ms. Yellen seems more pragmatic than others,” Tao Wenzhao, a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told AFP.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a meeting with US business leaders in Beijing on July 7, 2023 (AFP / Pedro PARDO)

“His visit is welcome, from a practical point of view, it should allow the two sides to get closer,” he said.

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“I think we are reshaping and rebuilding Sino-US relations,” Tao said.

– “Real Talk” –

In the morning, the US Secretary of the Treasury was already able to hold a “real conversation” with his former Vice Premier Liu He and the outgoing Governor of the Central Bank of China, Yi Gang. A Treasury Officer.

“They discussed the global economic outlook and the US and China respectively,” the source added.

The Treasury official cautioned Thursday that the U.S. does not expect specific progress during the visit, but it hopes for constructive exchanges that pave the way for more concrete discussions.

“This visit is an opportunity to communicate and avoid communication errors or misunderstandings,” Ms Yellen pleaded on Thursday.

The main sticking point is in semiconductors, where restrictions have been imposed in recent months to cut off US technology supplies, including chips from Chinese companies.

China, which wants autonomy in the region, believes these measures are aimed at hindering its development and perpetuating US hegemony.

On Monday, Beijing announced restrictions on exports of two metals essential to semiconductors and of which it is a major producer. The move is widely seen as a response to US pressure.

– Inquiries and searches –

“I am concerned about the new export restrictions recently announced by China (…) and we are in the process of assessing the impact of these measures,” Ms Yellen responded to US corporate officials on Friday.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a meeting with US business leaders in Beijing on July 7, 2023 (AFP / Pedro PARDO)

The latter are increasingly concerned about the country’s business climate after searches and investigations have been launched against some of them in recent months.

Ironically, since the lifting of health restrictions at the beginning of the year, many big American employers, such as Apple CEO Tim Cook or Microsoft founder Bill Gates, have visited China.

The latter received the highest honor received by Chinese President Xi Jinping as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Philanthropic Foundation.

Elon Musk met with senior leaders before heading to Shanghai to visit the assembly floor of a massive factory opened by Tesla in 2019.