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Yellen says she has had no contact with new Chinese counterpart

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Friday that she has not yet had any contact with her new Chinese counterpart He Lifeng.

“I haven’t had contact yet with my new counterpart,” Yellen told Bloomberg Television in Niigata, Japan, where she is currently meeting with fellow financial leaders from the Group of Seven.

Yellen last met with He’s predecessor Liu He in January, Bloomberg reported. He Lifeng was appointed to serve as the top government official overseeing China’s economy in March, according to The New York Times.

“I expect to travel there,” Yellen added, when asked about a possible trip to Beijing. “I can’t tell you what the date is. We have a number of senior American officials that are likely to go, and we need to sequence them appropriately.”

The questions about Yellen’s contact with her counterpart in Beijing come after she called for a more cooperative relationship with China during her remarks at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies last month.

“We seek a healthy economic relationship with China: one that fosters growth and innovation in both countries,” Yellen said at the event, adding, “A growing China that plays by international rules is good for the United States and the world.”

“Both countries can benefit from healthy competition in the economic sphere. But healthy economic competition — where both sides benefit — is only sustainable if that competition is fair,” she said.

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