Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to travel to China for high-level talks

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to China this week to “deepen communication” with Beijing on the global economy and financial developments, according to her department.

The Treasury Department said the trip will occur Thursday-Sunday and involve meetings with senior officials in the communist Chinese government.

“While in Beijing, Secretary Yellen will discuss with [Chinese] officials the importance for our countries — as the world’s two largest economies — to responsibly manage our relationship, communicate directly about areas of concern, and work together to address global challenges,” the department said.

Ms. Yellen is heading to China on the heels of a similar visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The officials are trying to maintain healthy competition and a stable relationship with Beijing on behalf of President Biden. 

A major superpower and economy, China is acting aggressively in the Indo-Pacific and cracking down on ethnic minorities. It also is often accused of swiping intellectual property from other countries.

Capitol Hill lawmakers are adopting an aggressive tone toward China, particularly after an alleged Chinese spy balloon floated across the continental U.S.

Also, there is lingering fallout from the coronavirus, which was discovered in Wuhan, China, and upended the world.

The Treasury Department said Ms. Yellen will carry out a directive from Mr. Biden, who met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, to maintain a dialog with China about critical economic issues.

Ms. Yellen recently laid out a three-pillar approach to dealing with China that begins with wielding targeted actions against China to protect human rights and the national security interests of the U.S. and its allies — though not for economic advantage.

“Second, we seek a healthy economic relationship with China that fosters mutually beneficial growth and innovation and expands economic opportunity for American workers and businesses,” the Treasury said. “Finally, we also seek to cooperate on urgent global challenges like climate change and debt distress.”

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