US officials are laying the groundwork for a meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Treasury Department announced on Monday that Secretary Janet Yellen will host Vice Premier He Lifeng on Thursday and Friday in San Francisco for what she calls "intensive diplomacy."
He was confirmed on Monday to oversee Chinese economic and financial policy. He will have to tackle the downturn in the real estate sector, and the trillions of dollars in debt owed by local governments.
He will meet with Yellen ahead of a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. They met in Beijing in July and agreed to establish working groups to "drill into the substance of economic and financial policy issues."
Yellen wrote in the Washington Post that she and President Biden are "clear-eyed about navigating the complexities" of the relationship. She has heard Chinese leaders criticize US export controls on advanced computer chips and other technologies. She wrote that she would address "Beijing's unfair economic practices" including what she framed as "coercive actions" against US firms.
Still, Yellen wrote that Americans and Chinese can make progress on global challenges together. She pointed to breakthroughs in climate change and suggested, now, they could support developing countries by making "essential investments to alleviate poverty, build resilience and enable transitions to clean energy."