Janet Yellen’s visit to China and China’s new counterintelligence law

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s visit to China comes immediately after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to the capital, Beijing, on June 18-19, 2023, in a clear American attempt to “reconnect” with Beijing, and US Treasury Secretary Yellen will try during her visit.  China has the first high-level talks with “He Lifeng” since his appointment as Vice Premier of the State Council for Economic Affairs of China, given the importance of his new position to the US side.  The main objective of the visit is to persuade China to refrain from reducing its holdings of US Treasury bonds, and instead to increase them at the appropriate time, in order to help America address its inflation issues. Before her visit to China, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was keen to hold a meeting with business leaders in the US-Chinese Business Council, last June 2023, in which she acknowledged the importance of promoting trade and investment with China, given the deep integration between the two economies.

 It is also expected that the United States of America will study during the visit of Treasury Secretary “Yellin” the file of reducing customs duties on China, and this will of course be beneficial for both countries economically.  It is also expected to study many issues that the Chinese and American authorities and their financial sectors need to address, such as: the decline in the exchange rate of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar, and China’s possession of US debt, in addition to the issue of inflation.

 Yellen’s visit also comes to discuss a set of issues of concern to Washington within the framework of its economic relations with China, on top of which are the outstanding economic issues between them as they are the two largest economies in the world, and joint work to solve global problems. US Treasury Secretary Yellen is also trying, through her visit to Beijing, to protect American interests in the field of national security and the interests of its allies, as well as trying to persuade the Chinese side to take a series and package of new economic measures, which lead to the failure to achieve the economic superiority of Beijing in the face of the United States of America.  US Treasury Secretary “Yellen” studied the file and mechanism of how to achieve mutually beneficial growth and innovation as well as expand economic opportunities for American workers and companies operating in China, as well as Washington’s endeavor to cooperate on the most important global issues such as: climate change and the debt crisis.    

  As for the expected scenarios of US Treasury Secretary Yellen’s visit to China, a rapid reduction in tensions is not expected, especially since the two countries are competing in the field of precise technologies, especially after the Biden administration imposed severe and strict restrictions in the face of Beijing on the export of semiconductors and components of American technology last year. According to China, the United States of America also maintained tariffs imposed by former President “Trump” on products exported by China to the United States. Despite this, Yellen is trying, through this visit, to deepen the pace of contacts between Washington and Benin to achieve stability in relations, to avoid misunderstandings between the two parties, and to expand cooperation between them wherever possible. Yellin will not miss the opportunity to inform the Chinese authorities of the “concerns” raised by the (new anti-espionage law), which came into force a short time ago in China.  As this text gives the Chinese government more freedom to fight any threats to national security, which raises concerns among foreign companies operating in China, especially American companies. Here, the US Treasury Secretary will try to “form a better understanding of the manner in which China intends to implement this law” for the Chinese, to present her point of view to those US companies operating in China. In general, those American discussions with China are of interest to the United States as an attempt to “stimulate greater global economic growth and to confront the crisis of increasing debt in the countries of the South”. On the other hand, in China, Chinese officials will seek “concrete steps by the United States” to show that containing Beijing “is not the ultimate or primary goal” of the United States.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit