January 19, 2023
DAVOS – Vice-Premier Liu He met with United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday, for talks that were seen as improving bilateral relations while finding ways for China and the US to work together on tackling global challenges.
Both countries agreed to enhance communication on macroeconomic and financial issues, according to a joint statement released after the talks. The statement described the first face-to-face meeting between the two as “substantive, candid and pragmatic”.
The two sides also agreed to increase cooperation on green finance on a bilateral and a multilateral basis, such as within the frameworks of the United Nations, the G20 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the statement said.
Yellen was invited to visit China this year, and the two sides agreed that their economic and trade teams will maintain communication at all levels.
The meeting was a follow-up to the one between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, in November, during which both leaders pledged to increase communication.
Christopher Bovis, a professor of international business law at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, said, “The significance of the meeting between the Chinese vice-premier and the US treasury secretary is not to be underestimated.”
“Face-to-face communication, in diplomatic terms, usually indicates the gravitas of the situation amidst the big picture of international developments and the thematics of the 2023 Davos economic forum,” he said.
Bovis said he believes the talks set the agenda that not only will dominate the Davos proceedings, but also project the parameters of current and future cooperation between the US and China, the world’s two largest economies.
In a speech on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Liu urged world leaders to abandon the “Cold War mentality” and reaffirmed China’s commitment to international cooperation and all-around opening-up, adding that “China’s door to the outside will only open wider”.