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The US Treasury Department and China's Ministry of Finance launched a pair of economic working groups on Friday in an effort to ease tensions and deepen ties between the nations. Image Credit: AP

New York: The US and China are establishing two working groups to discuss economic and financial issues.

The groups “will provide ongoing structured channels for frank and substantive discussions on economic and financial policy matters, as well as an exchange of information on macroeconomic and financial developments,” the US Treasury Department said in a statement Friday.

Meetings will be held regularly at the vice-minister level, with officials reporting back to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, according to the Treasury.

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The announcement comes after a string of visits to China by high-level US officials that appear to have helped stabilize ties. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also established a new commercial issues working group on her August visit to China, as well as a regular meeting to talk about export controls.

Washington and Beijing agreed to establish the groups during Yellen’s visit to China in July, a senior Treasury official said, adding that the groups will help each side explain their actions and allow the US to raise problems and push for solutions. They’ll also discuss issues ranging from debt restructuring for developing nations to topics covering regulations and stability, the official said.

“It is vital that we talk, particularly when we disagree,” Yellen said in a statement set to be posted on X, the social media platform formerly called Twitter. “These working groups will serve as important forums to communicate America’s interests and concerns, promote a healthy economic competition between our two countries with a level playing field for American workers and businesses, and advance cooperation on global challenges.”

In another sign the two sides are attempting to ease tensions, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently discussed a possible conversation between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden. Those talks were aimed at making sure the two presidents were positioned to meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November, according to people familiar with China’s preparations.