US-China ties to be put on ‘surer footing’

US-China ties to be put on ‘surer footing’

US-China ties to be put on ‘surer footing’

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that her talks with top Chinese officials have helped put ties on "surer footing," as she wrapped up a trip aimed at stabilizing fraught relations between the two biggest economies.

During her four-day trip, which came on the heels of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit, Yellen stressed the need for healthy economic competition and improved communication, and urged cooperation on the grave threat posed by climate change.

"And on both sides, the sentiment that was expressed is that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive, to cooperate on shared global challenges, to have a meaningful economic relationship and that we needed to stabilize our relationship to make sure that we were able to accomplish that," Yellen said in an interview with CBS News.

While it did not produce specific breakthroughs, Yellen's trip furthers a push by President Joe Biden's administration to steady ties with China.

Beijing's official Xinhua news agency said Saturday that Yellen's meeting with Vice Premier He Lifeng yielded an agreement to "strengthen communication and cooperation on addressing global challenges."

Both sides also agreed to continue exchanges, the readout added.

Yellen said on July 9 in Beijing that while there are "significant disagreements" between the countries, her talks had been "direct, substantive and productive."

"My bilateral meetings, which totaled about 10 hours over two days, served as a step forward in our effort to put the U.S.-China relationship on surer footing," she said at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy.

"I feel confident that we will have more frequent and regular communication."

Topping the laundry list of disagreements are Washington's trade curbs, which it says are crucial to safeguard national security.

On July 9, Yellen said she had stressed that Washington's measures "are not used by us to gain economic advantage."

"These actions are motivated by straightforward national security considerations," she said.

And with the U.S. mulling fresh curbs that could more strictly regulate American outbound investment to China, Yellen said any new moves would be implemented in a transparent way.

"The objective of my trip was to explain that national security is something that we can't compromise about and we will protect, and we will do so even if it harms our own narrow economic interests," Yellen told CBS, "but that when we take such actions, which do have an effect on the Chinese economy, that we will make sure that they are transparent, narrowly targeted and well-explained."

In Beijing she said she had raised serious concerns over what she called unfair economic practices by Beijing.

She cited barriers to foreign firms entering the Chinese market as well as issues around the protection of intellectual property.