The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Treasury Secretary advocates for US Businesses in Shanghai

USDA+%7C+Rawpixel / U.S. Department of Agriculture (Source)
USDA | Rawpixel

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to Beijing on July 6 to meet with top Chinese officials and policymakers.

She attended multiple meetings — most notably with Premier Li Qiang and Vice Premier Liu He — as well as U.S. business leaders operating in the country.

Against the backdrop of escalating tensions that have fractured Washington’s relationship with Beijing in the past few years, characterized by trade disputes, tariffs and geopolitical conflicts,      the visit was crucial for both nations to bridge the existing gaps.

Yellen’s primary objective during her visit was to fortify economic ties and nurture political relationships.

She met with her Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier He Lifeng, to lay the groundwork for enhanced cooperation and a renewed focus on addressing common challenges.

Meetings up to 10 hours long were attended by Secretary Yellen with top Chinese leaders, including Premier Li Qiang, Vice Premier Liu He, Finance Minister Liu Kun and Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China.

The meetings covered issues including U.S. technology export controls to China’s new anti-espionage law. Of particular concern to U.S. companies was the law’s potential to grant China legal access and control over data held by American firms in China.

The treatment of U.S. workers and firms in China were also brought up, with Washington looking for assurances from Chinese authorities that American businesses would be better safeguarded from intimidation moving forward.

China’s new export restriction on gallium and germanium has been criticized by Secretary Yellen, as the precious elements are essential for semiconductors, electric vehicles, fiber optics and more.

The control was widely seen as retaliation after the U.S. placed limits on semiconductor exports to China.

The visit also shed light on complaints made by U.S. Ambassador Nick Burns regarding intimidation faced by American companies from China, exposing China’s unfair economic practices.

The United States advocated for healthier economic competition and increased communication and exchange with China, while China called for the removal of tariffs on its goods and fewer restrictions on its companies.

“President Biden and I do not see the relationship between the U.S. and China through the frame of great power conflict,” Yellen said. “We believe that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive.”

But the discussion wasn’t particularly smooth, as expected, with considerable pushback from both sides.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, rejected claims that China’s           activities in the South China Sea were meant to drive a wedge between countries in the region. A record 16 Chinese warships were reported on July 16 in the waters off Taiwan, what analysts on foreign affairs called the latest sign of intimidation against Taipei.

“China’s development is an opportunity rather than a challenge for the US, and a gain rather than a risk,” Premier Li said.

Efforts to improve the bilateral relationship between the two superpowers projected an optimistic outlook for global relations at large. Increasing cooperation between two of the largest economies is something officials have said is needed more than ever as international issues escalate.

However, a major accomplishment of the meetings lie in the willingness of both countries to address pertinent issues and maintain a cordial relationship following years of mounting geopolitical tension.

Yellen also took the opportunity to foster international collaboration on climate change, national security and global debt challenges.

“My hope is that we can move to a phase in our relationship where senior-level diplomacy is simply taken as a natural element of managing one of the world’s most consequential bilateral relationships,” Yellen said.

With Secretary Yellen being the second U.S. cabinet member to visit China in a month, John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy on climate arriving July 16, the visit set the stage for an increased level of communication between the two countries and another attempt to repair a crumbling relationship.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Basmalla Attia is the Advertising Director for The Ticker.

Comments (0)

All The Ticker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *