Yellen To Hold Talks on Trade and Investment With China’s Top Finance Official

Yellen To Hold Talks on Trade and Investment With China’s Top Finance Official

( – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had her first meeting with her Chinese counterpart this week. The two discussed the US and Chinese economies against a backdrop of rising tension between the world’s leading superpowers.

Although Yellen has now been Treasury Secretary for almost two years, she still hadn’t met the finance minister of the world’s second-largest economy. That oversight finally changed on Wednesday, January 18, when she and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met briefly in Zurich, Switzerland.

According to a Treasury Department statement, the goal of the meeting was to “exchange views on macroeconomic developments and other economic issues.” That sounds dry and technical, but in fact, there’s growing tension between the United States and the People’s Republic of China on several issues, and that’s affecting global economic matters too, making the meeting a critical opportunity to discuss matters.

China has built its economic growth on exporting cheap consumer goods to the rest of the world, but it still has to import some key items it doesn’t produce at home. The most important of these are computer chips and the tools to make them –- and its leading source is Big Tech companies located in the United States. Now the Biden administration plans to tighten former president Donald Trump’s restrictions on selling advanced technology to the communist state.

Secretary Yellen herself has called for the US to build new supply chains along with its allies to prevent potentially hostile nations from achieving global dominance in vital industries. Last July, she openly named China as a country that could use economic power to “disrupt our economy or exercise unwanted geopolitical leverage.”

The meeting comes at a tense time for both economic giants. Yellen warned last week that the US would reach its borrowing limit on January 19.

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