The Biden administration is dispatching a high-level delegation of Treasury Department officials to Beijing this week for a round of economic talks as the world’s largest economies look to continue engagement efforts that President Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed to pursue last year.
A Treasury official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the trip has not been publicly announced, said that the two days of meetings would include “frank conversations” about China’s use of nonmarket economic practices like government subsidies. The U.S. officials also plan to discuss concerns about industrial overcapacity, which could flood international markets with cheap products.
They will also talk about ways to resolve sovereign debt burdens that have been weighing on low-income countries and preventing some of those countries from investing in sustainable development and climate initiatives. China is one of the world’s largest creditors and has faced international pressure to make concessions that would unlock a global effort to restructure hundreds of billions of dollars of debt owed by poor countries.
More broadly, the two governments will discuss the macroeconomic outlooks for their countries, whose economies are critical to the health of the overall global economy. The United States is proving to be the most resilient economy in the world. China, meanwhile, continues to be haunted by a financial industry that’s struggling to contain enormous amounts of local government debt, a volatile stock market and a crisis in its real estate sector.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund, in its latest economic outlook, projected that China’s economy would grow at a rate of 4.6 percent in 2024, a faster pace than previous projections. But it also urged China to make longer-term structural changes to its economy, such as overhauling its pension program and reforming its state-owned enterprises, to prevent its output from slowing more dramatically.
“Without those reforms, there is risk that Chinese growth would fall below 4 percent,” Kristalina Georgieva, the I.M.F.’s managing director, told reporters on Thursday.