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Yellen to host China's He Lifeng for ‘intensive diplomacy' ahead of APEC

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  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will host her Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier He Lifeng, for two days of "intensive diplomacy" in San Francisco this week, ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Finance Ministers Meeting.
  • The bilateral talks are part of a broader push between American and Chinese officials to make progress on specific issues ahead of an expected meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will host her Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier He Lifeng, for two days of "intensive diplomacy" in San Francisco on Nov. 9-10, the Treasury Department announced Monday.

The bilateral talks are part of a broader push between American and Chinese officials to make progress on specific issues, ahead of an expected meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum next week.

China has not yet confirmed Xi's attendance at the California summit, but U.S. officials have said they are optimistic.

"Our two nations have an obligation to establish resilient lines of open communication and to prevent our disagreements from spiraling into conflict," Yellen wrote Monday in an op-ed for The Washington Post. "But we also know that our relationship cannot be circumscribed to crisis management."

The Treasury Department is tasked with implementing an August executive order that calls for the stricter regulation of high-tech exports to China from U.S. companies that produce semiconductors, quantum technology and artificial intelligence.

"As we take these actions, our policy is to clearly articulate their intent and design to other countries, including China, to reduce the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation," Yellen wrote.

China, however, remains a prolific trading partner with the U.S. Chinese imports and exports ranked third among all trading partners this year, according to the Commerce Department. Yellen and Vice Premier He have also sought to expand trading potential through economic and financial working groups launched in September.

The groups will "provide ongoing channels for our teams to drill into the substance of economic and financial policy issues," Yellen wrote in the Post.

Ongoing discussions with He will address appropriate responses to barriers posed by China's noncompliance with market principles, such as "dumping" exports into the U.S. market at a lower than established market price, and coercion of less prominent trading partners.

"In certain sectors, these unfair practices have resulted in the overconcentration of the production of critical goods inside China," Yellen wrote, but added that a "private-sector pullback" from China would trigger disorder.

"Diverse supply chains are necessary in a volatile world; decoupling our economies would be economically disastrous and run counter to our national interests," Yellen wrote.

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