US TREASURY CHIEF YELLEN TO HOST CHINESE VICE PREMIER LIFENG AHEAD OF APEC SUMMIT
Washington: US Secretary of the Treasury Janet L Yellen is set to host Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng ahead of the APEC Finance Ministers Meeting in San Francisco, the US Department of Treasury said on Monday.
Yellen will host the Chinese Vice President for two days of bilateral meetings on November 9 and 10 in San Francisco, California.
These meetings are occurring at a time of “more intensive diplomacy” with the aim to further stabilize the bilateral economic relationship and make progress on key economic matters, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Secretary Yellen’s meetings with Vice Premier He will be held immediately before Secretary Yellen hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers Meeting in San Francisco.
Representatives from the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum are set to gather in San Francisco later this month for the 30th APEC summit, marking the United States’ first hosting of the event since 2011.
Last week, Secretary Yellen outlined the Biden Administration’s economic approach towards the Indo-Pacific, including efforts by both sides to deepen trade and investment ties across the region, develop more resilient supply chains, and address global challenges.
The forthcoming meetings with Vice Premier He build upon the substantial progress achieved by Secretary Yellen in enhancing robust channels of economic communication between the two nations, a directive initiated by President Biden’s instructions to his administration following his meeting with President Xi in November of the previous year.
Secretary Yellen’s visit to Beijing in July and the subsequent launch of bilateral Economic and Financial Working Groups, which report directly to Secretary Yellen and Vice Premier He, in September. Throughout, Secretary Yellen has used deeper communication with Chinese counterparts to better inform US decision-making and understanding of the global economy and drive towards outcomes that benefit the American and global economy, the department of Treasury said.
Secretary Yellen’s approach to these meetings will center on the three pillars of the Biden Administration’s approach to the bilateral economic relationship with China that she laid out in her remarks in April.
“Yellen outlined that US seek a healthy economic competition that benefits both sides, but that healthy competition requires a level playing field for American workers and firms. We will take targeted action to advance our national security and that of our allies, and protect human rights, but we do not use these tools to seek economic advantage,” the official release said.
“US seek to cooperate on global challenges like climate change and look for ways that we can work together as the world’s two largest economies to put the global economy on surer footing,” it added.
At the conclusion of the meetings, Secretary Yellen will host a press conference in San Francisco on November 10.
The APEC Finance Ministers’ Process (FMP) is a forum for APEC member economies to address regional macroeconomic and financial issues as well as domestic and regional financial policy priorities. It was established in 1993 by APEC leaders to jointly approach economic challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region.
Finance ministers have been meeting annually since 1994. Prior to each Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM), finance and central bank deputies and senior finance officials gather to consult on the priorities for the year and finalize the deliverables for ministers to endorse.
Notably, tensions between the US and China have escalated on a variety of issues, including technology, espionage, economic competition, and military strength. Multiple close military encounters in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, as well as a spy balloon incident in February and current accusations that China has operated a spy base in Cuba since at least 2019.
Earlier in August, in a scathing attack on China, President Biden had described Xi’s China as a “ticking time bomb” citing economic concerns. In June, Biden had even called Xi a “dictator”.
Both statements were denounced by Beijing.
In another major decision, the Biden administration imposed restrictions on US investment in high-tech areas in China and barred exports of advanced microchips.
Several US leaders including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have made visits to China in recent months in an effort to improve relations with China.