NEW DELHI, Nov 11 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters on Friday that she plans to meet with China's central bank governor Yi Gang on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali to discuss global economic conditions and China's property market situation.
Yellen spoke about the plans for her first in-person bilateral meeting with a senior Chinese economic official in her role as Treasury secretary in an interview with Reuters in New Delhi. The expected meeting will coincide with President Joe Biden's planned Monday meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but the exact timing for Yellen's meeting has not yet been set.
"I expect to meet with the central bank governor Yi Gang and I expect to talk with him about a range of issues, but particularly the global economic situation," Yellen said. "I'm going to be interested in learning more about the property sector in China and I’m going to try to update him on what's happening in the United States."
Yellen also said she would talk with Yi about low-income countries that are facing debt difficulties. The U.S. Treasury chief has been pressing China to do more to restructure bilateral debt that a range of developing countries owe to China, including through the G20's common restructuring framework.
China's cash-strapped property sector has suffered a wave of defaults on offshore debt obligations this year and a number of firms are struggling to tap sources of funding to finish projects and pay suppliers, prompting Chinese regulators to expand financing support for the sector.
More recently, investors have been fretting about the crisis deepening as developers widely believed to have had government backing also missed payments, such as CIFI (0884.HK) and Greenland Holdings Corp Ltd (600606.SS).
Since becoming Treasury secretary last year, Yellen has held three video calls with China's departing economic and trade czar, Vice Premier Liu He, who is expected to be replaced by He Lifeng in March. Yellen's meeting with central bank chief Yi would be her first in-person meeting with a senior Chinese official.
The meeting comes as relations between the world's two largest economies have hit a new low amid China's anger over House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August and growing U.S. technology export restrictions.
Biden hopes to limit deterioration of ties with China when he meets with its leader Xi, but will be honest about U.S. concerns including over Taiwan and human rights, a senior administration official said on Thursday.
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