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Janet Yellen Causes Controversy After Bowing To Chinese Counterpart

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was subject to massive criticism after a video surfaced of her repeatedly bowing to a Chinese official during her visit to China.

It happened on Friday when Yellen bowed to her counterpart, Vice Premier He Lifeng, again and again which many believed was a show of weakness, Fox News reported.

A former White House official who worked for former President George W. Bush, Bradley Blakeman, spoke to The New York Post and mocked her gesture.

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“Never, ever, ever…an American official does not bow. It looks like she’s been summoned to the principal’s office, and that’s exactly the optics the Chinese love,” he said.

During the meeting He was critical of the United States.

“We wish the US side would take a rational and practical attitude, meet with the Chinese side half-way, make joint efforts with China in maintaining the consensus reached between the two state leaders in their meeting in Bali, and put the positive remarks into actions, so as to stabilize and improve the China-US relations,” her counterpart said.

But Yellen defended the United States, gently, in response to his comment.

“The United States will take targeted actions to protect our national security,” she said. “While we may disagree on these actions, we should not allow that disagreement to lead to misunderstandings, particularly those stemming from the lack of communication, which can unnecessarily worsen our bilateral economic and financial relationship.”

At a press conference in Beijing the Treasury Secretary praised the relationship between the United States and China.

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“The relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China is one of the most consequential of our time. As the world’s two largest economies, our nations collectively represent 40 percent of the global economy. What we do – both in the bilateral sphere as well as on the broader global stage – shapes the lives and livelihoods of the people in our countries and beyond,” the secretary said.

“I have been intent on speaking about this relationship plainly and honestly: to address the challenges and opportunities that face us based on sober realities. The U.S. and China have significant disagreements. Those disagreements need to be communicated clearly and directly. But President Biden and I do not see the relationship between the U.S. and China through the frame of great power conflict. We believe that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive. Both nations have an obligation to responsibly manage this relationship: to find a way to live together and share in global prosperity,” she said.

“Like Secretary Blinken, I came to Beijing to deliver on President Biden’s directive to deepen bilateral communications after his meeting with President Xi last November. My objective during this trip has been to establish and deepen relationships with the new economic leadership team in place in Beijing. Our discussions are part of a broader concerted effort to stabilize the relationship, reduce the risk of misunderstanding, and discuss areas of cooperation,” the secretary said.

“Over the past two days, I have had the chance to do just that. I’ve met with Premier Li, Vice Premier He, Finance Minister Liu, People’s Bank of China Head Pan, and other senior officials to discuss important pillars of our economic relationship. These conversations were direct, substantive, and productive. We were able to learn more about each other’s economies and policy choices, which I believe is vital as the world’s two largest economies. Even where we don’t see eye-to-eye, I believe there is clear value in the frank and in-depth discussions we had on the opportunities and challenges in our relationship, and the better understanding it gave us of each country’s actions and intentions. Broadly speaking, I believe that my bilateral meetings – which totaled about 10 hours over two days – served as a step forward in our effort to put the U.S.-China relationship on surer footing,” she said.

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