Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Sees a “Step Forward” in US-China Relations after Beijing Trip

Sunday marked the conclusion of U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s two-day visit to Beijing, in which she reported that her discussions with top Chinese officials were “direct” and “productive” and helped place the U.S.-China relationship on “surer footing”.

Yellen, who leaves China on Sunday, told a news conference that the US and China were still at odds on several issues but that her 10-hour bilateral meetings had advanced Washington’s efforts to stabilize relations between the world’s two biggest economies.

This trip comes as Washington considers limiting U.S. investment in China amid an escalating global tech war. She is the second member of U.S. President Joe Biden’s cabinet to visit Beijing in recent weeks to improve relations.

“The U.S. and China have significant disagreements. Those disagreements need to be communicated clearly and directly,” Yellen said on Sunday. “But President [Joe] Biden and I do not see the relationship between the U.S. and China through the frame of great power conflict.”

“We believe that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive. Both nations have an obligation to responsibly manage this relationship: to find a way to live together and share in global prosperity,” she added.

Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the first visit by a top U.S. official under the Biden administration, and this month, climate envoy John Kerry is scheduled to travel to China.

This diplomatic drive by the U.S. comes before a potential meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at either the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi in September or the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November.