Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with China’s top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He, in Switzerland on Wednesday as Washington and Beijing continue to maintain high-level contacts.
In a readout of the meeting, the Treasury Department said that both sides “agreed it is important for the functioning of the global economy to further enhance communication around macroeconomic and financial issues.”
Ahead of the meeting, Yellen said the communication was important so the US and China could show they could “prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict.”
The US and China vowed to improve communication following the summit between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. As part of this effort, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to visit China on February 5.
While the US has stepped up contact with Chinese officials, it had framed the talks as a managing of competition rather than an attempt to resolve outstanding issues. The Treasury Department said Yellen had a “frank exchange” with Liu and raised areas of concern.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said that Liu raised Beijing’s concerns over “the US economic, trade and technology policies toward China,” referring to strict sanctions and export controls the US recently imposed on China’s chip industry. The US has also been pushing its allies, Japan and the Netherlands, to restrict technology exports to China.
The US has continued to increase support for Taiwan despite Xi warning Biden in November that the issue is the “first red line” that must not be crossed. China has responded to the growing ties between Washington and Taipei by stepping up military activity in the region.