The US Treasury Department and China’s Ministry of Finance have established two economic working groups to reduce tensions and strengthen ties between the two countries. The groups will be divided into economic and financial parts, led by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice Premier He Lifeng. They aim to establish a durable channel of communication between the world’s two largest economies and promote healthy economic competition with a level playing field for American workers and businesses.
The announcement comes after high-level government officials visited China this year, laying the groundwork for a possible meeting between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in November at an Asia-Pacific economic summit in San Francisco. Economic rivalry between the two countries has grown in recent years, and the two finance ministers have agreed to meet on a regular cadence.
Working groups between the US and China are not new, having formed working groups in 2005 and August. Tensions between the two nations erupted earlier this year when a Chinese spy balloon was discovered flying over crucial US territory. In April, Yellen condemned China’s commercial and human rights violations in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Tibet while expressing hope for a future where both countries share in and drive global economic progress.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated further as China has strengthened relations with Russia despite its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Last year, the US banned exports of advanced computer chips to China to limit China’s potential to develop advanced military systems, including weapons of mass devastation.