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China welcomes Yellen's visit, helpful for thawing fraught relations

《环球时报·英文版》 2023-02-09

China welcomes US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to visit China, Shu Jueting, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), said at a regular press conference on Thursday. Experts said the comment sends a clear message about China's open stance for dialogue with the US despite their disputes.

Yellen said on Wednesday that she wants to visit China, though she has no specific plans at the current stage, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

When asked about such a visit by the media, Yellen said: I do think improved communication is important...I still hope to be able to visit China and meet with economic counterparts, but I don't have any more details to offer.

Following a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on January 18 in Switzerland, the US Treasury announced Yellen's plans to travel to China and welcomed her counterparts to the US in February.

In responding to media questions about Yellen's remarks, the MOFCOM spokesperson said that it is important for both countries to maintain normal communication, while noting Liu and Yellen's half-day constructive meeting in Zurich.

Now that China-US relations are affected by the balloon case, Yellen's statement about her willingness to visit China is sending a relatively positive signal, Chinese experts said.

It is a reflection of the pragmatic voice from the economic and financial sector in the US,Song Guoyou, deputy director of the Center for American Studies, Fudan Universitytold the Global Times on Thursday.

Yellen's visit, if it takes place, will help break the ice of their tense relations, Song said.

China's economic rebound, being driven by pent-up consumer demand after the government readjusted epidemic response, is to support the sluggish world economy.

The US Department of Commerce on Tuesday reported that China-US merchandise trade reached a record high of $690.6 billion in 2022.

This came despite US' high tariffs and other factors, mirroring the close bilateral economic and trade interactions, experts said.

But other issues continue to hurt bilateral relations -- primarily Washington's use of technology curbs as a political weapon against China, the experts said.

The US crackdown on China's technology companies and corresponding curbs have had a very negative effect on the healthy development of bilateral economic and trade relations, Song said.

If the two sides can reach a consensus during Yellen's visit, if it takes place, it will definitely be positive for the two sides, Song said