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US Treasury official meets with China’s new ambassador in Washington


By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Jay Shambaugh met on Friday with China’s new ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, holding a discussion aimed at maintaining open communications between the world’s two largest economies, the Treasury said.

“The meeting was candid, constructive, and part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage our bilateral relationship,” the Treasury said in a statement.

Shambaugh, who heads international affairs at Treasury, raised U.S. concerns with Xie, but “emphasized the importance of the two largest economies closely communicating on global macroeconomic and financial issues and working together on global challenges.”

Bilateral engagement on economic issues has increased recently, but tensions remain in security-related areas with China’s defense minister declining a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at a security summit in Singapore.

Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met separately with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, with both sides trading objections about each other’s trade, investment and export policies.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has expressed hopes for a visit to China this year to meet with her new counterpart, Vice Premier He Lifeng.

In April, Yellen gave a lengthy address laying out the Biden administration’s objectives for a “constructive and fair” economic relationship with Beijing, saying she wanted to “cut through the noise” and responsibly manage the relationship.

(Reporting by David Lawder and Eric Beech; Editing by Leslie Adler and Richard Chang)

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