Yellen Urges China to Rekindle Discussions Amid Tech-Related Tensions

by Gabriel Martinez
US-China Relations

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has requested China’s Deputy Leader to prevent technological disputes from impeding economic collaboration amidst ongoing tension over U.S. restrictions on Chinese access to processor chips and other advanced technology. Yellen’s visit on Friday was geared toward mending the increasingly strained bilateral ties.

Yellen met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang and emphasized the necessity for Washington and Beijing to work together on globally significant issues. She called for maintaining constant lines of communication during a period of deteriorating relations, caused by disagreements on technology, security, and other contentious matters.

Yellen is part of a delegation of senior U.S. officials visiting Beijing, hoping to persuade Chinese leaders to rejuvenate governmental exchanges between the two largest global economies. It was clarified earlier that Yellen wouldn’t engage with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and significant breakthroughs were not anticipated.

In her defense of the so-called “targeted actions,” Yellen justified restrictions on China’s access to critical tech resources as necessary steps for national security.

While acknowledging potential disagreements, Yellen stated, “We should not let any differences exacerbate misunderstandings that unnecessarily degrade our bilateral economic and financial relationships.”

Yellen promoted “healthy economic competition,” alluding to concerns that Beijing is increasingly leveraging subsidies and market barriers to shield its businesses.

Premier Li expressed cautious optimism for improving conditions but did not suggest any alterations in China’s policies, which have been a source of irritation for the U.S. and its trading partners.

China’s finance ministry labeled Yellen’s visit as a substantial step toward implementing the agreement to improve relations, as decided by Xi and U.S. President Joe Biden during their November meeting. However, it did not outline any initiatives and urged Washington to make the first move.

U.S. restrictions on Chinese tech access could potentially hamper or derail China’s efforts to advance its telecoms, artificial intelligence, and other sectors, a concern voiced by Xi in March.

On Friday, Yellen critiqued China’s treatment of U.S. companies during a meeting with business representatives. She expressed concerns about non-market tools like expanded subsidies and market barriers used by China that affect foreign companies. However, she reiterated that the U.S. is not seeking to decouple its economy from China’s, highlighting that such a move would be destabilizing and virtually impossible.

Additionally, Yellen met with Yi Gang, the outgoing governor of China’s central bank, and former Vice Premier Liu He. Meanwhile, President Biden’s blunt comments about Xi being a dictator and increased tensions after a Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down over the U.S. added to the strained relations.

John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, is scheduled to visit China next week. This visit is critical as both China and the U.S. are the leading emitters of climate-changing carbon.

This will be Kerry’s first visit to China since climate discussions were halted in August following then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial trip to Taiwan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about US-China Relations

What was the purpose of Janet Yellen’s visit to China?

Janet Yellen’s visit to China aimed to improve strained relations between the United States and China, particularly in the areas of economic cooperation and technology disputes. She advocated for regular communication channels and emphasized the importance of healthy economic competition.

What were the main issues causing tension between the US and China?

The main issues causing tension between the US and China included disputes over technology, security concerns, market access barriers, and allegations of unfair trade practices. These factors contributed to strained relations between the two countries.

Did Janet Yellen meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping?

No, Janet Yellen did not meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during her visit to China. The purpose of her visit was to engage with Chinese officials and encourage the revival of interactions between the governments of both countries.

What was the stance of the Chinese government regarding Yellen’s visit?

The Chinese government viewed Yellen’s visit as a concrete measure toward implementing the agreement to improve relations between China and the United States. They called on the United States to take concrete actions to create a favorable environment for the healthy development of economic and trade relations.

What impact could US restrictions on Chinese access to technology have?

US restrictions on Chinese access to technology could potentially hinder or derail China’s efforts to develop its telecoms, artificial intelligence, and other technological sectors. This could affect China’s economic growth and its ability to compete globally in these industries.

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Michael Davis July 7, 2023 - 1:02 pm

janet yellen trip china help trade, tech issues, but not meet xi jinping. china want US take action, improve biz environment. tensions high, china restricts tech exports. hope for rainbows after storm! 🌈☔

Sarah Johnson July 7, 2023 - 5:15 pm

us china tech disputes hurt global econ. yellen defend actions, protect security. communication key, misunderstandings bad! china also need fair comp, no winner in trade wars. kerry next, climate talks imp! 🌱💔

John Smith July 8, 2023 - 8:00 am

yellen visit china talk china leader! good news for trade hope they work out! but US china still not getting along, big tech issues, hope they fix! 😊

David Thompson July 8, 2023 - 8:01 am

china-us ties tense, but yellen visit china try fix! technology, security, market access issues, no easy fix. hope for better future, climate talks important step. yellen not want decoupling, stabilize relations! 🌍💼

Emma Brown July 8, 2023 - 8:46 am

yellen try help US china relations, but not meet xi jinping. yellen want better communication, fair rules, healthy comp. US biz concerns, china tech restrictions hurt both, need cooperation! 🤝


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