Next week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will visit China to meet with senior government officials, and firms doing business in the country, in an attempt to deepen relations with the communist regime.
On Sunday, a senior Treasury official said her visit will build on Biden’s meeting last year with China’s president Xi Jinping.
The discussions are expected to be tense after Biden equated Xi to “dictators” in June, sparking backlash by the Chinese who called Biden’s remarks “ridiculous” and that they amounted to “open political provocation.”
Yellen will be in China from July 6-9. It’s expected that she will communicate to officials the importance of managing relations between the two countries, promote dialogue to address areas of concern, and communicate the desire for the U.S. and China to cooperate to address global concerns.
A senior Treasury official said Yellen has no intention of ignoring human rights abuses in the country, a topic that is likely to come up, CBS News reported.
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Last April, Yellen communicated the “three pillars” of U.S.-China relations. The first involves the U.S. taking targeted action to secure national security interests and protect human rights. The second is seeking a healthy economic relationship between the world’s two largest economies and to avoid decoupling. The third is to cooperate on global issues including the economy, climate change and soaring debt levels.
In an interview with MSNBC last week, Yellen said that she hopes her visit to China will help reestablish contact.
“What I’ve tried to make clear is that the United States is taking actions and will continue to take actions intended to protect our national security interest. And we’ll do that even if it imposes some economic cost on us, but we believe that a healthy economic relationship, healthy competition that benefits both American business and workers and Chinese businesses and workers, this is something that is possible and desirable that we really welcome and want to have, a healthy economic relationship, and we think it’s generally beneficial,” she said.
Yellen’s visit to China will be the latest from a senior U.S. official following Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit in June this year, where he met with senior officials including president Xi.
While Blinken’s visit was widely hailed as being successful, he failed to reestablish communication between the militaries of the two countries, an issue that was top of mind for Blinken.
“It is very important that we restore those channels,” he said following his visit, adding that, “If we agree that we have a responsibility to manage this relationship responsibly, if we agree that it’s in our mutual interests to make sure that the competitive aspects of the relationship don’t veer into conflict, then surely we can agree and see the need for making sure that the channels of communication that we’ve both said are necessary to do that include military-to-military channels.”