(Washington) The United States and China announced Friday the launch of working groups on economic and financial policy subjects, according to the American Treasury, a new sign of appeasement in relations between the two powers.
One group will deal with macroeconomic issues and aim to strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries, and another will focus on financial and regulatory balance issues, said a US Treasury official.
Their creation follows the July visit to Beijing of the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, who met with Chinese Vice-Premier He Lifeng, as part of an attempt by the two governments to reopen dialogue after several months difficult relationships.
“My trip to China was aimed at establishing a channel of communication between the two largest economies in the world, consistent with the directives of President (Joe) Biden after his meeting with President Xi (Jinping) in Bali” l last year during the G20, explained Mme Yellen in a social media post Friday morning.
“It is vital that we talk, especially when we disagree,” she added.
The predominantly economic group will be managed by the US Treasury and the Chinese Ministry of Finance while the other, predominantly financial, will be placed under the leadership of the Treasury and the Chinese Central Bank, according to an American press release which specifies that the groups will meet at “regular cadence” at vice-ministerial level.
In a press release broadcast by Chinese state television CCTV and announcing the creation of these two groups, the Chinese government assures that they will serve to “strengthen communication and exchanges” between the two countries in economic and financial matters.
Sino-American relations, difficult for several years, fell to their lowest point in February when the American army shot down a “balloon” which Washington indicated was being used by Beijing to spy on United States territory.
The two sides have since renewed contact with a succession of visits by senior US officials to Beijing, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June, before Mme Yellen.
The Biden administration, however, continues to impose trade sanctions against Beijing in areas it considers crucial to its national security, notably regarding semiconductors.
In August, President Biden signed a decree restricting certain American investments in China in the field of high technologies, an “anti-globalization” decision according to Beijing.
Besides trade disputes, Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and the issue of the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan remain stumbling blocks in bilateral relations.
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