Sat. May 18th, 2024

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

September 22, 2023

Finally, we see some actions that could lead to normalizing US-China bilateral relations. It should be noted that “Working groups between the U.S. and China are not a new creation.” During the Obama administration (2008-2016), based on the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogues (US-China SED), numerous productive working groups were established. They reported to the US Secretary of State and First Vice Premier of China.

All changed after President Trump took office and took the America First approach, which amounts to “shoot first and ask the questions later” that the US started the trade war first (negotiate later.) It took Biden Administration almost two and half years to rebuild these vice minister-level working groups. The next US general election is about 400 days away, so there is very limited time for these working groups to make any meaningful contributions.

Both Biden and Xi have to give specific instructions to these working groups and monitor the progress closely. If the current polling trend for the US general election persists, China will have to move cautiously with a very unpredictable Trump II administration in mind.

On the other hand, if US-China bilateral relation really stabilizes and global economy recovers realistically, it will help Biden’s re-election bid. However, the clock is not on Biden’s side.

Note: Joint Chief of Staff, General Milley just put a stop on the “China Spy Balloon” story last week. He told the media that “there was no spying by China and the balloon was blown off course!” What a wasted opportunity for Biden administration!

US, China announce new economic working groups


Fri, September 22, 2023 at 6:28 AM PDT

The United States and China on Friday announced two new working groups on economic and financial policy, in the latest effort to stabilize fraught relations between the world’s biggest economies.

The formation of the groups was agreed during talks in July between US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng in Beijing, the Treasury Department said.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV also announced the launch of an “Economic Working Group” and “Financial Working Group,” saying both will hold “regular and irregular meetings to strengthen communication and exchange on relevant issues.”

“It is vital that we talk, particularly when we disagree.”

The Economic Working Group will discuss macroeconomic issues, while the Financial Working Group will focus on regulatory and financial stability issues, a senior US Treasury Department official said.

“The two groups will meet at the Vice Minister level on a regular cadence and report to Secretary Yellen and Vice Premier He,” said the Treasury Department.

The economic group will be led by the US Treasury and China’s finance ministry, while the financial group will include the Treasury and the People’s Bank of China, the US statement said.

The United States and China saw relations hit their lowest point in years in February, when US forces shot down a balloon Washington said was being used by Beijing to spy on its territory.

That followed a visit to Taiwan last year by Nancy Pelosi, then the speaker of the US House of Representatives, which made her the most senior US politician to visit the island in over two decades.

The Biden administration has, however, continued imposing restrictions on trade with China in areas it considers crucial to national security, including high-end semiconductors.

In August, Biden signed an executive order restricting certain American investments in sensitive high-tech areas in China — a move Beijing blasted as being “anti-globalization”.

US, China launch economic, financial working groups

NHK, September 22, 2023

Attention is focused on whether the two countries will be able to improve relations amid their ongoing conflict over advanced technologies such as semiconductors.

China, US set up working groups for economic issues

Move marks major step in putting brakes on downward spiral in bilateral ties: experts

By GT staff reporters Published: Sep 22, 2023 08:17 PM

China and the US have agreed to set up two working groups for economic and financial matters in a major step that experts say could help put the brakes on a downward spiral in bilateral ties following a slew of recent high-level exchanges between officials.

The move, which calls for meetings to discuss economic and financial issues, sends a rare and important signal to the world that its two biggest economies are jointly working to manage differences and address disputes through consultations, after an extended period of relation deterioration due to the US’ relentless crackdowns on Chinese high-tech industries and companies, which also drew firm responses from China, experts noted.

According to a statement by the People’s Bank of China (PBC), the country’s central bank, on Friday, the economic working group is led by vice-ministerial officials from the Ministry of Finance of China and the US Treasury Department, while the financial working group is led by vice-ministerial officials from the PBC and the US Treasury Department.

The US Treasury Department said on its official website on Friday that the two working groups will provide ongoing structured channels for frank and substantive discussions on economic and financial policy matters, as well as an exchange of information on macroeconomic and financial developments
Since 2018, the economic and trade contacts between China and the US have been mainly based on negotiations, and the high-level dialogue and communication mechanism was basically suspended.

He Weiwen, senior fellow of the Center for China and Globalization, told the Global Times on Friday that the working groups eye on achieving practical results following multiple previous China-US dialogues, and building consensus for global economy recovery, noting that China welcomes any types of bilateral communication channel. 

Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times that the establishment of the working groups demonstrated that the efforts in China-US cooperation are transforming from lip service to practical moves.

Under the new China-US communication mechanism, China may focus on US-launched trade barriers, extra tariffs, export controls and investment restrictions, and the US may focus on issues of market rules and national security, Zhou said.

Zhou noted that the Biden administration’s basic position on China will not change, but this kind of communication mechanism may at least enhance mutual understanding, reduce miscalculations and further bring economic and trade relations between the two countries back on track. “But what results can be achieved and what role can be played by China and the US under the new communication mechanism need to be further observed,” he added.

United States and China launch economic and financial working groups with aim of easing tensions


Fri, September 22, 2023 at 5:01 AM PDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department and China’s Ministry of Finance launched a pair of economic working groups on Friday in an effort to ease tensions and deepen ties between the nations.

Led by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice Premier He Lifeng, the working groups will be divided into economic and financial segments.

The working groups will “establish a durable channel of communication between the world’s two largest economies,” Yellen said in a series of tweets detailing the announcement. She said the groups will “serve as important forums to communicate America’s interests and concerns, promote a healthy economic competition between our two countries with a level playing field for American workers and businesses.”

The groups’ launch also comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with China’s vice president on Monday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

Working groups between the U.S. and China are not a new creation.

US, China agree to regular talks on economy

Tara Suter

Fri, September 22, 2023 at 8:18 AM PDT

The U.S. on Friday announced the creation of two economic working groups with China as part of bilateral efforts to cool tensions between the two countries.

Even as tensions flare over Taiwan and South China Sea trading routes, the Biden administration has sought to play down its rivalry with Beijing. President Joe Biden said the U.S. is “not looking to hurt China” while on a trip in Vietnam earlier this month.

“We’re all better off if China does well, if China does well by the international rules,” Biden said.

The White House also asked America’s ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, to back off his social media posts poking Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese government officials, NBC News reported this week. National Security Council officials reportedly warned embassy staff that the posts could jeopardize attempts by the Biden administration to repair rocky relations with China.

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