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Yellen’s visit reopened contacts between China and the United States, but disagreements persist

Yellen’s visit reopened contacts between China and the United States, but disagreements persist

This content was published on Jul 9, 2023 – 09:22


Jesus Centeno

Beijing, July 9 (EFE). – The visit of the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, to China ended with high-level meetings to improve communication between the two countries, especially in the economic field, although the two sides acknowledged the existence of important differences in their relations continue to exist.

During her four days in the Chinese capital, Yellen met key economic policymakers in the Asian country, including the premier, Li Qiang. the new chairman of the Communist Party of China at the People’s Bank Pan Gongsheng; Finance Minister Liu Kun or Deputy Prime Minister He Lifeng.

In all interactions, which both sides described as “frank and fruitful,” both sides stressed the need to “avoid misunderstandings” and try to guide their turbulent relationship, with which they called for continuing to maintain “dialogue and exchanges,” if that was the case. Both Yellen and Chinese officials acknowledged that they had wide differences.

The Chinese side openly expressed concerns about “US sanctions and restrictive measures against China,” while Yellen criticized Beijing’s “unfair practices,” citing, among others, “existing barriers to access to its markets,” and made it clear that Washington would continue to take ” Specific measures for national security reasons.

At the negotiating table, they planned last year’s restrictions on the export of American-made semiconductors and materials, a measure that called for limiting Beijing’s ability to manufacture parts needed to power supercomputers or advanced military systems.

Restrictions that may be added to others on the exports of artificial intelligence chips to China, according to the American press, to which Beijing responded this week by imposing restrictions on the export of gallium and germanium, two main metals for the manufacture of semiconductors, a product that is at the heart of trade and technological tensions between the two.

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“Abusing the concept of national security is the only thing it achieves is harming economic and trade exchanges,” Xinhua said after Saturday’s meeting between Yilin and He.

For her part, the US Treasury Secretary also highlighted the latest “punitive measures against US companies”, referring to the investigations launched in China against several US consulting firms or preventing US technology firm Micron from selling its products to US companies. Chinese customers.

“a positive signal to the world”

On Sunday, the Chinese press stressed that “it is the United States that should work with China” so that relations “return to the right track,” although it acknowledged that US officials were making “efforts” to improve communications.

“It is a positive sign for the world, which desperately needs the two world economic superpowers to speak out and cooperate in the face of ever-increasing challenges. But it is imperative that Washington be true to its words,” reads the official Global Times. newspaper in this regard. editorial.

According to academic Zhao Lingyun of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, economic relations between the two have “served for a long time as a stabilizing factor,” but the problem now is that the two powers are competing at the same time that their dependence appears, which makes it very difficult to reach “meaningful” agreements. “.

Yellen herself admitted that the US “does not seek to detach itself economically from China” because that would be “disastrous” and “destabilizing” for both: “Having both sides at the table is a good thing in itself. But for the US, punishing China for expressing Her “concerns” are somewhat exaggerated. It only serves them to justify their actions aimed at harming China’s development.

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While Yellen asked for competition but “under some rules,” the vice premier admitted that the Chinese side regretted “unexpected incidents that damaged relations in recent months,” apparently referring to the alleged Chinese “spy” balloon episode that took off. over the United States in late January and plunged into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on February 4.

That episode seemed to destroy the rapprochement between the presidents of the two countries, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, during their meeting in November 2022 on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

Yellen’s visit followed the June visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who also emphasized “the importance of keeping channels of communication open across the board to reduce the risk of miscalculation” in an effort to reduce tension between the two powers and prevent competition from leading to open conflict. EFE

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