United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday that her country would listen to China’s complaints about security restrictions on US technology exports, ending a visit to China aimed at de-escalating tensions in the relationship.
Yellen defended “targeted measures” on trade. Chinese leaders complain that these sanctions are aimed at hurting budding technology industries. She said US President Joe Biden’s administration wanted to “avoid unnecessary consequences” but did not indicate possible changes.
US-China relations are at their lowest level in decades due to disputes over technology, security and Taiwan and other issues. One of China’s major grievances is access to processor chips and other US technology on security grounds that threaten to hurt the ruling Communist Party’s development of smartphones, artificial intelligence and other industries.
“We will open up a channel of dialogue so that they can express concerns about our actions and we can respond to the unintended consequences of our actions,” Yellen said at a news conference. Interacted with Premier Li Keqiang, the second top leader in the party, and other officials. He held talks with his Chinese counterpart and Vice Premier Li Lifeng on Saturday. Yellen received extensive coverage in state media, but Chinese officials did not indicate that she would make changes to industrial or other policies that the US and other governments say violate Beijing’s free-trade commitments.
The US Treasury Secretary announced on Sunday that there was no agreement on major disputes or plans, but added department and Chinese officials would communicate “more regularly”. Yellen said she tried to reassure officials that Washington does not seek to isolate its economy from China, But seeks to “mitigate risk” on trade.
She appealed for “healthy economic competition” during his visit. The finance minister said she has raised concerns with Chinese authorities about “coercive activities” against US companies. Yellen on Saturday urged China to cooperate in tackling climate change and other global challenges. President Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry will be the next senior US official to travel to China in the coming weeks. China and the US are the world’s top emitters of the carbon responsible for climate change.