Janet Yellen talks climate, economy, relationship with China in Zurich

Zurich: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met on Wednesday with her Chinese counterpart and pledged an effort to manage differences and “prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict” as the two nations try to thaw relations.

Yellen’s first face-to-face meeting with Vice Premier Liu He in Zurich is the highest-ranking contact between the two countries since their presidents agreed last November during their first in-person meeting to look for areas of potential cooperation.

Liu said he was ready to work together to seek common ground between China and the U.S. “No matter how circumstances change, we should always maintain dialogue and exchanges,” he said.

A U.S. Treasury readout of the 2 1/2-hour meeting says the two agreed that the U.S. and China would cooperate more on issues around financing for battling climate change and work to support “developing countries in their clean energy transitions.” The readout also indicates Yellen plans to travel to China and welcomes her counterparts to the U.S. in the near future.

Yellen, in opening remarks in front of reporters, told Liu: “While we have areas of disagreement, and we will convey them directly, we should not allow misunderstandings, particularly those stemming from a lack of communication, to unnecessarily worsen our bilateral economic and financial relationship.”

Liu expressed concern over U.S. economic, trade and technology policies toward China and said he hoped the U.S. would pay attention to the impact of those policies on both sides, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.

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