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Yellen, US Treasury Head, Urges China to Unite on Global Issues Including Climate Change

by Joshua Brown
6 comments
US-China Cooperation

Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, called for China’s cooperation in addressing climate change and other international challenges during a meeting on Saturday. She urged that differences over trade and other contentious subjects should not hinder the relations between the two countries.

In a dialogue with Vice Premier He Lifeng, her Chinese equivalent, Yellen justified US constraints on technology exports which are a bone of contention for Beijing. She insisted that such disagreements shouldn’t disrupt flourishing economic and financial exchanges between the two nations.

“There are vital global challenges we face, such as debt distress in emerging and developing markets, and climate change,” Yellen remarked. “It is our responsibility to collaborate for the benefit of our own economies and other countries.”

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Yellen, along with other US officials, is slated to visit Beijing to renew relations, currently at a nadir due to disputes over technology, security, and Taiwan among other matters.

Yellen was received cordially by leaders including Premier Li Qiang, the second-in-command of the Communist Party, although there were no indications of policy changes that could appease Washington and other administrations.

Treasury representatives outlined the purpose of the visit as promoting communication, with no anticipated agreements on major disputes. They mentioned that a meeting between Yellen and Chinese leader Xi Jinping was not on the agenda.

Last August, Beijing discontinued climate talks with Washington in response to a visit by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, an autonomous island democracy claimed by China as its own.

Next week, John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, is set to be the following senior US official to visit China. The US and China are the leading global contributors of climate-altering carbon emissions.

Vice Premier He, Xi’s principal economic adviser and the chief Chinese delegate to the US on trade and financial issues, called for both governments to adhere to an agreement established last November by Biden and Xi to enhance relations.

“The two nations should act responsibly considering history, the people, and the world,” the vice premier asserted. He urged the US to adopt a practical attitude and collaborate with China to uphold the mutual understandings reached by Xi and Biden.

China recently agreed to reduce Zambia’s debts under Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has provided billions of dollars in loans for infrastructure development to Asian and African governments. US Treasury officials noted this as an instance where cooperation yielded positive outcomes.

On Saturday, Yellen also interacted with the incoming governor of China’s central bank, Pan Gongsheng, and other key figures in China’s climate finance sector.

Reiterating her call for “healthy economic cooperation” during her meeting with He, Yellen touched upon allegations of Beijing’s violation of free-trade commitments through company subsidies and protectionism.

She defended the US restrictions on technology exports, a point she had previously raised in a discussion with Li, the premier. These restrictions are a potential setback for Beijing’s aspirations to advance in telecommunications, artificial intelligence, and other domains. In response to these constraints, Xi accused Washington of attempting to impede China’s development in March.

Beijing’s retaliation has been tentative, presumably to prevent disruption to its own industries. However, recently, the Chinese government announced ambiguous controls on gallium and germanium exports, metals integral to semiconductor and solar panel production.

“Targeted measures to safeguard our national security will be taken by the United States,” Yellen declared. “Even if we have divergent views on these actions, they shouldn’t lead to misunderstandings, especially those arising from lack of communication, which could unnecessarily strain our economic and financial relations.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about US-China Cooperation

What global challenges did Janet Yellen discuss with China?

Yellen emphasized on cooperation in handling global issues such as climate change and debt distress in emerging and developing countries.

Who is Janet Yellen’s Chinese counterpart?

Janet Yellen’s Chinese counterpart is Vice Premier He Lifeng.

What were the contentious topics between the US and China in the meeting?

The contentious topics included US restrictions on technology exports, disagreements over trade, and issues related to technology, security, and Taiwan.

What was the reaction of the Chinese leaders to Yellen’s visit?

Yellen received a cordial reception from Chinese leaders, including Premier Li Qiang. However, they did not give any signs of changing their policies that are currently at odds with Washington and other governments.

Was Yellen scheduled to meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping?

No, according to the Treasury officials, Yellen wasn’t scheduled to meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping during her visit.

Why did Beijing break off climate discussions with Washington last August?

Beijing broke off climate discussions with Washington in retaliation for a visit by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, an autonomous island democracy claimed by China as its territory.

Who is expected to be the next US official visiting China?

John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, is expected to be the next senior US official to visit China.

What is China’s stand on improving relations with the US?

Vice Premier He Lifeng urged both governments to return to an agreement reached last November by Biden and Xi to improve relations. He insisted that both nations should act with a sense of responsibility considering history, the people, and the world.

More about US-China Cooperation

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6 comments

Chinawatcher67 July 8, 2023 - 5:23 pm

Beijing always play it cool, no sign of policy change to appease Washington, huh. interested to see what happens next!

Reply
PoliticalPete July 8, 2023 - 7:10 pm

Taiwan, always a thorn in US-China relations. Wonder if they’ll ever find common ground…

Reply
Jake345 July 8, 2023 - 9:09 pm

Wow, yellen sure has a lot on her plate! dealing with climate change n trade issues with china? that’s a tough gig…

Reply
EcoWarrior July 9, 2023 - 1:56 am

Top carbon emitters in the world, US n China, they better be having a dialogue. Glad that Yellen’s pushing it.

Reply
TechNerd July 9, 2023 - 1:00 pm

Those tech export restrictions are a sticky issue…but we can’t just give away the farm. hope they can reach a compromise.

Reply
LibertyLion July 9, 2023 - 1:13 pm

Trade disputes shouldn’t derail the big picture, Yellen’s absolutely right there. we gotta cooperate on global challenges like climate change…

Reply

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