Yellen: 'Deep Economic Relationship' with China 'Generally Beneficial' to Both, 'We Have a Productive Competition'

During an interview aired on Tuesday’s “PBS NewsHour,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that the “deep economic relationship and financial relationship” between the U.S. and China “is generally beneficial, both to China and the United States,” and “we have a productive competition between the United States and China.”

Yellen said, “Well, even if we disagree about something as fundamental as democracy versus autocracy, we need to have constructive relationships with one another. We have a deep economic relationship and financial relationship that is generally beneficial, both to China and the United States, although we insist that it be one that’s fair with a level playing field so that American workers aren’t disadvantaged. But we have a productive competition between the United States and China. We want to make sure that that continues. At the same time, we intend to protect our national security, and it’s important for China to understand that we’re doing that, that it’s really non-negotiable, but that we try to do it in ways that are targeted, narrow, and not designed to harm the Chinese people broadly or to inhibit their growth. So, there are many areas in which we can and should cooperate, and the meeting…I’m sure will address all of these points.”

She also stated that decoupling “would be disastrous for both the United States and China and for the global economy more broadly. I do not think that we should try to decouple. I think that would be dangerous and counterproductive. I visited Beijing a year ago, following President Biden’s and President Xi’s decision that economics and finance are areas where we should regularly communicate, and I think we’ve opened up productive channels, we have established economic and financial working groups that are meeting to try to address these issues constructively.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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