Urgency for US, China to communicate on economic issues: Yellen
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasizes the importance of communication between "the two largest economies."
Close economic communication between the US and China is critical, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday ahead of a meeting with a top Chinese official in Zurich.
"Amid a complicated global economic outlook, there is a pressing need for the two largest economies in the world to closely communicate on global macroeconomics and financial conditions," Yellen said at the start of her first face-to-face meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
They also needed to "exchange views on how we are responding to various challenges," she said.
Yellen expressed hope that the pair, who have already met virtually three times, would "delve deeply into topics of mutual concern, including macroeconomic cooperation and climate finance" on Wednesday.
Speaking through an interpreter, Liu also called for "serious communication".
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The meeting on Wednesday comes amid increased diplomatic efforts to keep the two behemoths at bay. Moreover, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Beijing in early February, according to a US official.
He will be the first US secretary of state to visit China since October 2018, when his Republican predecessor Mike Pompeo, known for his harsh anti-China stance, made a brief stop in Beijing after talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Blinken's trip was announced without specific dates in November, when President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Bali on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit, with both leaders expressing cautious optimism that disagreements would be contained.
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They pledged at the meeting "to continue responsibly managing the competition between our two countries and to explore potential areas of cooperation," the State Department said in November.
In reference to the Bali meeting, Yellen stressed Wednesday that "we share a responsibility to show that China and the United States can manage our differences and prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict."
"While we have areas of disagreement, and we will convey them directly," she said, "we should not allow misunderstandings, particularly those stemming from a lack of communication, to unnecessarily worsen our bilateral economic and financial relationship."