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China Seeks US Action on Sanctioned Firms After Yellen Talks

Finance ministry in Beijing urges US to take action on its “major concerns” about sanctions on Chinese firms, after talks with US Treasury secretary

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was speaking in an interview with CNBC.


China’s finance ministry called on Monday for the US to take action on its “major concerns” about sanctions on Chinese firms.

The call came after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrapped up more than 10 hours of talks with top officials in Beijing over the past four days.

Yellen came to Beijing seeking to ease tensions between the world’s two superpowers, and while there was no breakthrough, both sides described their talks as “productive” and agreed to keep channels open “at all levels” for talks on the economy.

The visit boosts chances for a meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later this year, possibly at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco in November.


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‘Significant disagreements’

Before departing on Sunday, Yellen told reporters that she and her Chinese counterparts “aired significant disagreements” in their meetings, a sentiment reflected in a readout from China’s finance ministry on Monday morning.

China “requires” the US to “cease the suppression of Chinese enterprises, lift bans on Xinjiang-related products, and take concrete steps to respond to China’s major concerns in economic relations between the two countries,” the ministry wrote.

The United States has imposed sanctions on some companies for using forced labour in the far-western region of Xinjiang.

Beijing denies the use of forced labour and any other abuses there.

The ministry also said China believed its development was an opportunity rather than a risk to the US and that “strengthening cooperation between China and the United States is a realistic need and the correct choice of the two countries.”

“The re-commencement of senior-level Sino-US talks in diversified areas could open up room for more cooperation on bilateral and global issues,” Hong Kong-based Bruce Pang, chief economist at Jones Lang LaSalle, said.

“I expect more working-level communications ahead, on a range of topics where there is more consensus than disagreements, such as climate change and the tariff reduction list, among others,” he added.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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