The United States seeks to establish “constructive and fair” economic relations with China. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a speech on Thursday. In it, I outlined the main goals of the Biden administration for the economic relationship between the two largest economies in the world.
In doing so, the United States will protect its national security interests and continue to oppose China’s actions to dominate foreign countries, Yellen wrote in a statement released ahead of her speech at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
Yellen’s speech comes at a time when tensions between the two superpowers are rising again. Washington and Beijing have clashed more than once over trade, human rights and other issues in recent years, and relations took a turn for the worse this year when the United States shot down a Chinese balloon that Washington says was being used for espionage.
While the two countries agreed to improve communication on macroeconomic issues and cooperate more on climate change and debt relief, Yellen said more needs to be done. “We call on China to keep its promise to work with us on these issues, not as a favor to us, but because of our shared commitment to the world.”
Yellen also noted that China has expanded its support for its own state-owned and domestic companies to “dominate foreign competitors.” While some of the United States’ national security measures against China may have economic ramifications, Yellen claimed that these moves are “only motivated by concerns about our security and our values”.
Yellen thus opposed the notion that US national security measures were intended to suppress China’s economic and technological modernization. “Our goal is not to use these measures to gain an economic competitive advantage.” Chinese President Xi Jinping previously criticized the United States for leading an effort to contain and suppress China.
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