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Yellen: US, China must ‘communicate’ on economy

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said that the two countries need to prevent “competition” from leading to conflict. They were expected to discuss the possibility of a global recession.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Zurich on Wednesday.

Both officials stressed the importance of cooperation between Washington and Beijing in the face of global economic challenges and climate change.

What did Yellen and Liu say?

At the start of the meeting, Yellen said that both countries needed to manage “differences and prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict.”

“While we have areas of disagreement, and we will convey them directly, we should not allow misunderstandings, particularly those stemming from a lack of communications, to unnecessarily worsen our bilateral economic and financial relationship,” she said.

“Amid a complicated global economic outlook, there is a pressing need for the two largest economies in the world to closely communicate on global macroeconomics and financial conditions and exchange views on how we are responding to various challenges,” Yellen added.

Liu said Washington and Beijing need “serious communication” and coordination on climate change and the economy.

“We do believe that we have to always bear in mind the bigger picture, try to manage our differences appropriately and seek common ground,” Liu said.

“In this way, hopefully we can work together to maintain the overall stability of Chinese-U.S. relations.”

Officials expected to discuss possible global recession

A Chinese official said that the Liu and Yellen would discuss the possibility of a world recession.

Treasury officials said the discussion would center on the global economy, sovereign debt issues and climate change.

On Tuesday, Liu urged global leaders to abandon what he called a “Cold War mentality” and expand international cooperation.

The IMF has warned that if the global economy splits into two competing blocs, global economic output could be reduced by up to 7%.

sdi/ar (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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