Yellen: I haven’t contacted my new Chinese counterpart yet

As Biden administration officials work to reconnect and ease tensions with the world’s second-largest economy, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she has yet to speak with her Chinese counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister He Lifeng.

“I haven’t had any contact with my new colleague yet,” Yellen said in an interview with Bloomberg in Niigata, Japan, where the G-7 meetings are held.

The statement marks the slow pace of high-level contacts between US and Chinese officials since President Xi Jinping reorganized his government with the start of his third term in March.

Still, there are signs of increased contact lately.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with China’s top diplomat for two days. The White House described this meeting as “important and constructive”.

The Treasury Secretary said he still hopes to arrange a visit to Beijing.

“I’m hoping to travel there. I can’t tell you what the history is. We have a few senior American officials who are likely to go and we need to rank them appropriately,” Yellen said.

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