US And China Launch Economic Working Group Amid Souring Relations

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Will Kessler Contributor
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The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on Friday the launch of economic working groups with China to facilitate communication as relations between the two powers struggles.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is directing the Economic Working Group and the Financial Working Group in correspondence with China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng, according to a press release from the Treasury Department. President Joe Biden called the Chinese leader Xi Jinping a “dictator” in June following comments about a Chinese spy balloon that flew over the country earlier this year. (RELATED: China To Launch Massive New Fund To Fight US In Tech War)

“The formation of these Working Groups builds on the consensus reached between Secretary Yellen and Vice Premier He during the Secretary’s trip to Beijing in July, and carries out President Biden’s directive to deepen communication between the two countries following his meeting with President Xi in Bali last year,” the press release reads.

The two groups were created for the purpose of facilitating a channel between the two countries to facilitate discussions on “economic and financial policy matters” and to exchange information on “macroeconomic and financial developments,” according to the press release. The Treasury will work with China’s Ministry of Finance on the economic group, and with the Bank of China on the financial group.

Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Special Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry all took trips to China this summer to ease tensions between the nations, discussing topics ranging from reestablishing military communication, cooling the trade war and climate issues.

Several Chinese economic indicators, such as manufacturing activity, exports and consumer spending, have seen worrying metrics, with economic growth slowing to 0.8% for the second quarter of 2023, while the first quarter grew 2.2%, totaling 6.3% for the year. The Chinese real estate market is also undergoing a crisis, with companies that have been responsible for 40% of total Chinese home sales having defaulted on their debt since 2021.

The Treasury did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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