US Treasury Sec. Yellen to Visit China

    US Treasury Sec. Yellen to Visit China
    Last updated Jul 03, 2023
    Image credit: Federal Reserve [via Wikimedia Commons]


    • The Chinese Finance Ministry on Monday confirmed that US Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen will visit Beijing starting Thursday amid ongoing efforts to mend bilateral relations between the superpowers.
    • According to the US Dept. of the Treasury, during her July 6-9 trip, Yellen will address the need to "responsibly manage" relations between the world's two largest economies, establish direct lines of communication in "areas of concern," and cooperate to tackle global challenges.
    • In her talks with top PRC officials, she is reportedly expected to also raise concerns about the impact of a new Chinese counterintelligence law on foreign and US companies and touch on economic measures to protect US national security from China.
    • The Biden admin. claims that safeguards are not aimed at decoupling the economies or economically disadvantaging China — pointing to this visit as a sign of its intent to achieve cooperation on issues such as climate change and concerns over debt.
    • Last week, Yellen stated that her long-anticipated trip, which had been put on hold due to US-China tensions, is about restoring contact between the Biden admin. and the reshuffled PRC leadership in order to discuss disagreements and avoid misunderstandings.
    • This comes after US Pres. Joe Biden compared the Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping to "dictators" at a campaign fundraiser in June and US Sec. of State Antony Blinken previously said his recent trip to China yielded progress in improving strained Sino-US relations.


    Establishment-critical narrative

    Yellen's trip is the latest chapter in the US' diplomatic charm offensive, which offers nothing but empty words that conflict with its hostile policy toward China. The US may now be striking more moderate tones, talking about "de-risking" rather than the foolish "decoupling" of the US economy from that of China. Yet even more pragmatic US officials like Yellen cannot hide the fact that Washington is basically pursuing a hegemonic "de-China" strategy aimed at containing the PRC's economic and technological rise. With this tactic, the US ends up hurting itself the most.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Although Sino-US relations are strained, Yellen enjoys credibility in China, where she has emerged as a proponent of constructive bilateral ties at a time of growing mistrust between Washington and Beijing. As a pragmatist, Yellen embodies the Biden administration's recent "de-risking" approach, which aims to protect US national interests rather than seeking a full economic disengagement that would cause massive damage to both countries and the global economy. While Yellen's trip is unlikely to lead to a breakthrough, it is another step toward de-escalation.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 15% chance that the US and China will be at war before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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