U.S Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He pledged to keep the lines of communication open between the two economic superpowers Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland.
Speaking to reporters at the start of their summit, Yellen said while Washington and Beijing “have areas of disagreement,” the two countries “have a responsibility to manage our differences and prevent competition from becoming anything near conflict.”
Liu said China was ready to work with the United States “to maintain dialogue and exchanges” and seek common ground.
The meeting in the global financial center is expected to focus on the risk of a global economic recession this year and sovereign debt, especially China’s holdings of massive debt of several low-income nations who are facing potential default amid rising interest rates. Yellen is expected to urge Beijing to provide debt relief to those countries during her summit with Liu.
Wednesday’s high-level meeting in Zurich is the result of an agreement between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached at the G-20 summit in Bali back in November to improve ties between the world’s top two economies.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have grown increasingly strained in recent years over several issues, including trade, human rights and China’s increased pressure on the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers as part of its territory.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.