Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (not pictured) speaks during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 7, 2023.
Marc Siefelbein | AFP | Getty Images
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in Beijing on Saturday that the world’s two largest economies, the US and China, need to compete fairly and communicate closely to avoid misunderstandings.
Continuing her talks with Chinese officials, Yellen told Vice Premier He Lifeng that the record for bilateral trade between the United States and China in 2022, set despite recent tensions, is that “our companies are engaged in trade and investment.” It shows that there is enough room to do so.
But it’s important to keep talking about areas of common interest, not just disagreements, she said in a prepared remark.
He said he was ready to work with Yellen, meeting her at the Diaoyutai State Guest House, which frequently hosts foreign dignitaries in Beijing.
“With the global economic outlook becoming more complex, it is imperative that the two largest economies stay in close contact and exchange views on how to respond to various challenges,” he said.
Doing so “will help both sides better understand the global economic outlook and make better decisions to strengthen the economy,” he said.
Despite talk of US-China economic decoupling, recent data show that trade ties are fundamentally strong, with two-way trade reaching a record $690 billion last year.
Yellen said the U.S. doesn’t want a winner-takes-all approach or economic dominance in its relationship with China, but wants to ensure healthy competition with “fair rules” that benefits both countries in the long run. I repeated my argument.
Yellen said the United States will continue to communicate its concerns directly about certain economic practices and take targeted action to protect national security.
He urged China not to allow any disagreement “to invite misunderstandings, especially misunderstandings stemming from poor communication, which may unnecessarily aggravate bilateral economic and financial relations.”