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Janet Yellen, US Treasury secretary, and He Lifeng, China’s vice premier, during a meeting in San Francisco, California, US, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. The engagement between the top US and China economic officials this week marks the next step in a series of talks that have sought to improve testy ties between the world’s two largest economies.

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng agreed to “intensify communication” and work together on a range of economic, financial stability and regulatory issues, Treasury said on Friday.

The two “had candid, direct, and productive discussions on the U.S.-China bilateral economic relationship and a wide range of issues, including areas of cooperation and areas of disagreement,” Treasury said in a statement.

The two met Nov. 9-10 in San Francisco ahead of the summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) country leaders.

Yellen plans to travel to China next year to continue discussions, the statement said, adding that both sides emphasized they are not seeking to decouple their economies.

“During the meetings, Secretary Yellen emphasized the importance that both countries responsibly manage the bilateral economic relationship, including maintaining resilient communication channels,” Treasury said.

Yellen and He exchanged their views on domestic and global macroeconomic and financial developments, it said, noting that Yellen acknowledged “significant headwinds and risks to the global economy.”

She emphasized the need for Russia to end its war against Ukraine, stressing that Chinese companies “must not provide material support for Russia’s defense industrial sector.”

They also discussed the Israel-Hamas war, and Yellen spoke about the need “to prevent escalation and expansion of the conflict in the Middle East,” Treasury said.

The two leaders agreed to work toward common solutions, address disagreements where possible and avoid misperceptions that could spark “unintended escalations,” Treasury said.

Both pledged to work on issues such as climate change and debt issues, including through a meaningful quota increase at the International Monetary Fund and accelerated work to evolve the multilateral development banks, it added.

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