Yellen to China: Help stop Russia’s war in Ukraine or lose face in the world

WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) – China should help end Russia’s “heinous war” in Ukraine or face losing its standing in the world, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday, and he warned that those seeking to undermine Western sanctions face economic problems. Impact.

Yellen said in a landmark speech that she “fervently” hoped that China would use its “special relationship” with Russia to persuade Moscow to end the conflict, and that countries “sitting on the fence” over the war were short-sighted.

“The world’s attitude toward China and its willingness to embrace further economic integration may well be affected by China’s reaction to our call for decisive action on Russia,” Yellen told the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

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The comments reflect calls by the Biden administration for China to condemn Russia’s invasion and side with Western democracies, with whom Beijing has enjoyed a lucrative economic relationship.

US President Joe Biden also told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday that buying more Russian oil was not in India’s interests. read more

China is “firmly opposed” to associating Sino-Russian relations with the Ukraine crisis, said Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, adding that Beijing was “committed to promoting peace talks.”

“China opposes all forms of unilateral sanctions and the far-reaching jurisdiction of the United States, and will resolutely uphold the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and individuals,” it said in an emailed statement.

Going forward, Yellen said it would be increasingly difficult for China and the West to separate economic problems from broader national security concerns.

“Whatever China’s geopolitical goals and strategies, we don’t see a benign interpretation of Russia’s invasion and its consequences for the international order,” Yellen said.

China cannot expect the world to respect any future calls by Beijing on sovereignty and territorial integrity if it does not respect these principles in Ukraine “now when it counts,” he added.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on “the state of the international financial system,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, USA, April 6, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

But Yellen said in a question-and-answer session that the United States needed to work hard with China to avoid a bipolar global financial system that pits market-driven democracies against autocratic state-driven economies.

China’s reliance on state-owned enterprises and other practices has harmed US national security interests, he said, adding that maintaining the current relationship requires changes and cooperation from Beijing.

“I’d like to see us preserve the benefits of deep economic integration with China, not move into a bipolar world, but I think that’s a danger we need to address,” Yellen said.

Yellen also expressed concern that the new strict lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic in China would cause a new wave of supply chain disruptions that could harm the global economic recovery.

Yellen also called for more “friendshoring,” or shifting of supply chains to more trusted partner countries that are free of geopolitical conflict.

The US Treasury chief also said that global economic growth would be affected by the Russia-Ukraine war and that the Biden administration was resolute in its commitment to hold Russia accountable for its “horrible conduct” and violations. of international law.


Yellen’s comments come just days before the International Monetary Fund and World Bank member countries convene their Spring Meetings in Washington next week, and she said the war in Ukraine will be “on everyone’s mind.”

He called for these institutions, created at the end of World War II, to be “modernized” to address the 21st century challenges that have led to the current conflict and help tackle other big problems, including climate change, ending the COVID-19, and support low-income countries. Last week, Yellen said Russia should be excluded from the Group of 20 major economies, whose financial leaders are due to meet next week in Washington.

Yellen also said she plans to convene other leaders during IMF and World Bank meetings to discuss possible solutions to rising food prices that are hurting the world’s poorest. read more

“Some may say that now is not the right time to think big,” he said, citing the war and the lingering pandemic. “However, I see that this is the right time to work to address the gaps in our international financial system that we are witnessing in real time.”

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Information from Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Edited by Andrea Ricci and Alistair Bell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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