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China's media briefing after He Lifeng-Janet Yellen meetings
Vice Minister of Finance Liao Ming on the China-U.S. trade and economic talks in San Francisco.
China’s Ministry of Finance on Saturday, November 11 posted a brief transcript of its media briefing on its website. It’s been translated by me as follows.
(The U.S. Department of Treasury has published its readout.)
On November 10th local time, 廖岷 LIAO Min, Vice Minister of Finance, hosted a press briefing in San Francisco to introduce the visit of He Lifeng, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Vice Premier of the State Council, and the Chinese leader for China-U.S. trade and economic talks. Liao Min also answered questions from journalists. The transcript of the briefing is as follows:
Good afternoon, friends from the media! Welcome to today's briefing. At the invitation of U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, He Lifeng visited the United States from November 8th to 12th. I will introduce his visit and answer your questions.
During the visit, Vice Premier He Lifeng held multiple rounds of talks and a working dinner with Secretary Yellen, totaling 10 hours. The talks, based on their July meeting in Beijing, aimed to continue implementing the important consensus of the two heads of state, preparing the economic outcomes for their meeting in San Francisco, and promoting the return of China-U.S. economic and trade relations to a healthy and stable trajectory. The discussions covered China-U.S. economic relations, the economic and financial stability of China, the U.S., and the globe, addressing global challenges, and issues of mutual concern. The talks were candid, pragmatic, in-depth, and constructive. The two sides reached important consensus:
1. Agree to enhance communication, seek consensus, manage differences, and avoid misunderstandings and accidental escalations. Establish an economic and financial working group led by Vice-Minister-level officials reporting to the leaders of both sides [He Lifeng and Janet Yellen] in charge of the economic and trade talks. He and Yellen agree to stay in regular direct communication.
2. Emphasize that China and the U.S. do not seek economic "decoupling," welcome healthy economic relations, provide fair competition for businesses and workers, and enhance the well-being of both peoples.
3. Agree to jointly address common challenges, including economic growth, financial stability, and regulation. Cooperate on economic issues related to climate change and debt of low-income and emerging economies, strengthen the international financial framework, promote meaningful quota increases in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and strive to enhance the voice of underrepresented members/regions through a new quota formula, and accelerate multilateral development bank reforms for better performance, bigger size, and greater efficiency.
During the talks, the Chinese side emphasized on introducing the macroeconomic situation and policies of China this year. The Chinese side pointed out that the current rebound trend of the Chinese economy is continuously strengthening, with new drivers of economic development constantly emerging, further solidifying the foundation for long-term positive economic growth. China's development is driven by strong internal forces. The determination of the Chinese people to lead good lives is firm, and the Chinese government is committed to promoting high-quality development. We also believe that a prosperous China will lead to a better world. The sustained and healthy development of the Chinese economy will undoubtedly bring greater opportunities to countries around the world.
China expressed concerns about U.S. restrictions on bilateral investment, sanctions against Chinese companies, export controls, and additional tariffs. These measures disrupt normal trade and affect business expectations, not benefiting U.S. companies in the long run. China emphasized that the U.S. should take concrete actions to address these concerns and will resolutely defend its legitimate development rights.
China also presented its positions on the Ukraine crisis and the Israel-Palestine conflict.
During his visit to the United States, Vice Premier He Lifeng held separate discussions with representatives of Chinese-funded and American-funded enterprises. He elaborated on China's policy stance regarding Sino-U.S. relations and economic ties, introduced the continuous recovery and positive trends in the Chinese economy, and the series of significant measures being taken to expand opening up to the outside world and optimize the business environment for foreign investments. He also listened to and responded to the concerns and opinions of the enterprise representatives regarding the economic relationship between the two countries.
**Media Question Phase**
Xinhua News Agency Reporter:
With Vice Premier He Lifeng and Secretary Yellen completing reciprocal visits, and the working groups in the economic and business fields of both sides now on track, does this indicate a turning point in China-U.S. economic and trade relations?
The economic relationship between China and the United States is rooted in the shared interests of both countries' economic fields, objectively benefiting both nations and their peoples. The momentum for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the U.S. is strong, with a solid foundation and broad prospects. However, this is predicated on equality and mutual respect. The legitimate concerns of both sides should be properly addressed; only in this way can the China-U.S. economic and trade relationship truly be stable and go a long way.
China Media Group reporter:
Prior to Vice Premier He Lifeng's visit to the U.S., Secretary Yellen published an article stating that the U.S. government would adopt a pragmatic economic strategy, which includes protecting its vital national security interests while seeking to establish a stable and healthy economic relationship with China. What is China's assessment of this after the visit?
In building external economic relations, every country needs to balance two major goals: development and security, including pursuing diversified strategies based on market principles. However, diversification chosen by companies under market principles is fundamentally different from the so-called "de-risking" currently being done under the pretext of "national security." The latter violates basic economic principles like division of labor, leading to market segmentation and increased costs, which are not conducive to maintaining good economic relations. We hope that the U.S. will act in concert with China, take concrete actions, and create the necessary conditions for maintaining and developing the economic relationship between the two countries, to the mutual benefit of both countries' businesses and people. (Enditem)
(The U.S. Department of Treasury has published its readout.)