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Yellen arrives in China as US seeks to stabilise ties

BEIJING (AFP) – United States (US) Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrived in Beijing, China yesterday, kicking off a visit aimed at improving communication and stabilising the relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

Yellen’s trip through Sunday is her first to China as treasury secretary, and comes just weeks after Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid a rare visit to the country.

The visit will see her seek to expand lines of correspondence, avoid miscommunications and widen collaboration on the global economy, climate change, debt distress and other issues, according to a Treasury official.

On such a trip – which comes in the face of concerns over economic recovery and US interest rate hikes – officials on both sides also generally have a chance to speak about their countries’ growth outlooks.

“The fact that she’s spending four days in Beijing, given all of her other domestic and international pressures, underscores the importance she is attaching to this visit,” Asia Society Policy Institute vice-president Wendy Cutler told AFP.

While each side will have a long list of complaints to raise with the other, with little flexibility to adjust their policies, the visit could allow Yellen to lay the groundwork for future collaboration, Cutler added.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. PHOTO: AFP