US Treasury Secretary seeks 'more balanced' ties with China

Mr Mnuchin spoke to several Chinese officials, including Vice-Premier Wang Yang, and stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation.
Mr Mnuchin spoke to several Chinese officials, including Vice-Premier Wang Yang, and stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation.
Mr Mnuchin spoke to several Chinese officials, including Vice-Premier Wang Yang, and stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation.
Mr Mnuchin spoke to several Chinese officials, including Vice-Premier Wang Yang, and stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation.

WASHINGTON • Newly installed US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has spoken with Chinese Vice- Premier Wang Yang and other officials, and called for "more balanced" economic relations with Beijing.

Mr Mnuchin also spoke to People's Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan, Finance Minister Xiao Jie and Economic Affairs Minister Liu He, the US Treasury said in a statement.

In each of the calls last Friday, Mr Mnuchin "underscored that he looked forward to fostering strong US- China engagement during his tenure" and he "emphasised the importance of achieving a more balanced bilateral economic relationship going forward". In his election campaign, US President Donald Trump accused China of unfair trading practices. Once at the White House, he threatened to take retaliatory measures.

Chinese President Xi Jinping implicitly criticised the protectionist tendencies of the new US President at the economic forum in Davos.

In his calls, Mr Mnuchin stressed the importance of cooperation between Washington and Beijing in international forums. "He noted that demonstrated leadership by our two countries on critical issues will be beneficial not only to each country but also to the global economy," the statement said.

Mr Mnuchin said he was committed to working with China "on a comprehensive set of economic, financial, trade and investment, and illicit finance issues."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2017, with the headline 'US Treasury Secretary seeks 'more balanced' ties with China'. Print Edition | Subscribe