(Tribune News Service) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wants to visit China this year, a U.S. delegation told Chinese officials in Beijing, a sign that ties between the two economic superpowers are further stabilizing.
The U.S. group relayed the message during meetings this week with Chinese officials including Vice Premier He Lifeng, the Treasury Department said in a statement on Tuesday. Yellen said in a meeting with He in November in the U.S. that she planned to visit China again this year.
The U.S. officials also “frankly raised issues of concern, including China’s industrial policy practices and overcapacity, and the resulting impact on U.S. workers and firms,” Treasury said. It added that the delegation reiterated that the U.S. isn’t seeking economic decoupling.
China raised its worries about tariffs, investment restrictions and its companies getting hit with sanctions, Beijing said in a statement. He Lifeng told Jay Shambaugh, undersecretary for international affairs, that the two nations should stabilize and develop economic ties, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The discussions mark the latest round of re-engagement between between the countries after ties soured in recent years over issues including tech curbs, espionage fears and Taiwan.
They were the latest round of an “economic working group” established last year as part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to maintain channels of communication with its geopolitical rival, especially on shared challenges, while also pursuing policies to protect its national security.
American and Chinese officials recently held separate talks on curbing the flow of fentanyl. President Joe Biden is eager to show progress in the fight against synthetic opioids, which have caused U.S. overdose deaths to skyrocket in the last decade.
U.S.-China relations have improved since Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met in November in an effort to stabilize ties, though issues including trade and export controls remain as major areas of contention. Yellen has argued that it is crucial to engage in ways that could prevent a wide range of potential crises, from diplomatic to financial.
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