Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet with China’s finance minister, Vice Premier Liu He, later this week in Switzerland to discuss the U.S. and Chinese economies as tensions between the two world powers grow.
Yellen is expected to meet Liu in person for the first time in Zurich ahead of planned visits to three countries in sub-Saharan Africa on Wednesday, a Treasury Department official told The Hill. The financial leaders have met three times prior via virtual meetings.
The pair will “exchange views on macroeconomic developments and other economic issues” during the bilateral meeting, according to the Treasury.
The economic officials’ meeting follows a Group of 20 conference talk between President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping last year during which the pair agreed their senior officials should stay in contact.
Though Biden’s first face-to-face meeting with Xi went well, the two nations are still at odds over issues like the autonomy of Taiwan and policy moves like the Biden administration’s move to block the export of advanced semiconductor chips and chipmaking materials to Beijing.
Yellen last year called for the U.S. to take a “friend-shoring” stance and develop strong supply chains with like-minded allies in order to combat China’s marketplace dominance and roll back U.S. reliance on Beijing.
The meeting with Liu also comes after Yellen last week said the U.S. was projected to reach its roughly $31.4 trillion borrowing limit on Jan. 19.
Yellen shared the estimate in a letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), warning the Treasury Department would soon have to begin taking “extraordinary measures” to stave off a default to buy time for Congress to find a bipartisan solution.
The Treasury secretary’s upcoming trip to Senegal, Zambia and South Africa is part of the U.S. attempt to build stronger relationships with African nations as China becomes more invested in the region.
The Hill has reached out to the Treasury Department for more.
The Associated Press contributed to this report, which was updated at 10:33 a.m.
Source: The Hill