Yellen to travel to China as US weighs investment restrictions

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is planning a visit to China in the “near future,” the Treasury Department said Wednesday.

“We look forward to visiting China and welcoming her counterparts to the United States in the near future,” the Treasury Department said in a document from a meeting in Zurich between Prime Minister Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. .

This is the latest outreach to China on behalf of the United States, with President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting in Bali during the G20 summit last November, and Secretary of State Anthony Brinken visiting the country in February. It is expected to be.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that China and the United States are in contact with each other about details of Mr. Blinken’s visit.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that China and the United States should discuss economic issues more.

“Both sides agreed that greater communication on macroeconomic and financial issues is critical to the functioning of the global economy,” the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

The announcement of Yellen’s next visit came amid reports that the White House is considering imposing restrictions on US investments in China. Perhaps the tech sector, where the economic and defense rivalry between the two countries has been going on for a long time. In 2022, Congress passed a bill to increase domestic production of semiconductors in an effort to pull the semiconductor industry away from its longtime base in East Asia.

Such proposed restrictions also have a bipartisan foothold in Congress. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and other leading legislators wrote to Mr. limit “outbound investments in adversaries”.

“As congressional deliberations continue, we urge the administration to pursue enforcement actions that may be bolstered by statutory provisions to safeguard national security and supply chain resilience to outbound investment in foreign adversaries. I will,” wrote the legislator.

” [People’s Republic of China] …has a terrible track record of facilitating intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. This volatile trend is nothing new, but we know action is needed to address vulnerabilities in many sectors of our economy.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry on Monday accused the United States of playing its own economic national strategy game and said it had “deliberately obstructed the appointment of new judges.” [World Trade Organization’s] Appellate body. The US has criticized the WTO Appellate Body for “exceeding” its mandate.

Yellen’s reason for visiting China may not be a single issue.China has a far-reaching and complex relationship with the United States

The United States exported more than $140 billion in goods to China last year and imported nearly $500 billion, according to Census Bureau data. Both of these numbers will be higher when last year’s final numbers come next month.

Nonetheless, security concerns over territorial disputes in the Pacific and possible military actions involving Taiwan have strained relations between the United States and China, especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China.

Another source of uncertainty is the economic impact of China’s relaxed COVID-19 policies, following widespread protests aimed at China’s previous zero-tolerance pandemic policies. The protests were sparked by a deadly fire in Urumqi city, in western China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where residents were locked down in their homes.

The World Health Organization has asked for more detailed data, but after abandoning its “zero COVID” policy, the country reported about 60,000 deaths attributed to coronavirus between December 8 and January 12. Reported.

Disruptions to China’s workforce resulting from China’s health policy developments could severely impact global supply chains and production levels.

“The Chinese government has taken the initiative to adapt Covid response measures in light of the latest situation. This is the right step to effectively coordinate the response to the epidemic and socio-economic development.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the United States and China will work more closely with international organizations on climate financing to stem global warming and environmental degradation.

“[Both sides] We also agreed on the importance of sustainable development and agreed to strengthen cooperation on climate finance on a bilateral and multilateral basis, including within the United Nations, G20 and APEC,” the Ministry of Finance document said. says.

The White House and Treasury Department declined to comment on the matter.

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