Yellen hopes Biden-Xi G20 meeting will boost U.S.-China economic engagement

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US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in an interview with Reuters in New Delhi

By David Lawder

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she hopes President Joe Biden’s meeting on Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping leads to increased engagement on macroeconomic issues between the world’s two largest economies.

Yellen said the purpose of the meeting was to stabilize the U.S.-China relationship and provide some certainty for U.S. businesses about its future path.

“What I’m very much hoping is that as a result of the president’s bilateral with President Xi today, we’ll engage in more intensive conversations going forward with our Chinese counterparts about the Chinese economy, global macroeconomic outcomes, and health policies both in the U.S. and China that are impacting those outcomes,” Yellen told reporters on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

Yellen also will meet with People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang and plans to discuss economic issues including China’s plans to ease COVID-19 lockdowns that have squeezed its output and supply chains, as well as financial problems in its property sector.

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She said that Biden has been clear with China about national security concerns regarding restrictions on sensitive U.S. technologies and has raised concerns about the reliability of supply chains.

“I’ve discussed repeatedly our concerns that we’re overly dependent on China for things like minerals that go into electric vehicle batteries, solar panels. We want a more secure and more resilient supply chain,” she said.

But the United States was not seeking to push U.S. firms out of China nor curtail “a wide range of commercial activities” between the two countries, Yellen added.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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