US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (R) shakes hands with Yang Yingming of China’s Finance Ministry as US Ambassador Nicholas Burns looks on, Beijing, July 6, 2023
With US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on a four-day trip to China, I spoke with Monocle Radio’s Markus Hippi on Thursday about Washington and Beijing renewing the economic “rules of the game”.
I analyze the focus on pragmatism, rather than confrontation, around Yellen’s discussions including tariffs, regulations of companies, and issues around technology and communications.
And I consider whether that pragmatism will mark a shift in US-China relations, with Yellen’s visit between those of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US climate envoy John Kerry.
Listen from 1:46:
The Chinese are approaching Yellen and Kerry as pragmatists who will not start from the standpoint of confrontation. And that means China will not begin with a confrontational line.
You don’t walk into a room with Janet Yellen and say, “Taiwan, Taiwan, Taiwan”. And she’s not going to do so either….
Taiwan is not the bugaboo that could upset these talks. The bigger issue, both for the Chinese leadership and the Biden Administration, is domestic political opinion looming over their shoulders.