Tuesday, July 11, 2023
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Can US, China mend ties? Janet Yellen comes up with surprising answer

To overcome the divide between two nations, Yellen stressed need of regular communication and meetings to discuss issues openly

By
Web Desk
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2023. Yellen is traveling to China amid tensions over a number of issues including Taiwan. npr.org
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2023. Yellen is traveling to China amid tensions over a number of issues including Taiwan. npr.org

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed optimism about stabilising the relations between the world's two largest economies.  

Yellen's recent visit to Beijing marks a potential shift in the US-China relationship. 

In an interview with National Public Radio's Marketplace programme, the secretary acknowledged the difficulties between the two countries, but emphasised the shared desire of the parties to solve problems constructively. “There are challenges, but I believe there is a desire on both sides to stabilize the relationship and to constructively address problems that each of us see,” Yellen said.

Yellen emphasised the necessity of having open and courteous dialogues in order to maintain a constructive partnership in the future. She regarded her trip as a success, recognising that misunderstandings have contributed to a deepening schism between the US and China. “That certainly was a major goal of my trip. I think it was successful in that sense,” she said.

To overcome this divide, Yellen stressed the importance of regular communication and meetings to discuss issues openly.

Yellen met with numerous high-ranking officials during her tour, including Premier Li Qiang, Vice Premier He Lifeng, Finance Minister Liu Kun, and Pan Gongsheng, the head of China's central bank. Despite the lack of specific achievements during the tour, both Washington and Beijing have agreed to continue exchanges, suggesting a commitment to continuous engagement.

Yellen noted that trade tensions between the two countries remain a major source of disagreement. She told media that any new trade restrictions would be enforced in a transparent and focused manner, focusing on sectors of national security significance. Yellen sought to allay Chinese concerns about broad-based economic consequences. “I want to allay their fears that we would do something that would have broad-based impacts on the Chinese economy,” she said.