Secretary Statements & Remarks

Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at Lunch with Female Economists and Entrepreneurs of the People’s Republic of China

As Prepared for Delivery

It’s great to see all of you. Thank you for joining me for lunch.

I am in Beijing at this critical time because, for all the disagreements between our nations, President Biden and I believe it is in the best interests of our peoples to put our relationship on a better track and to maintain open and honest lines of communication.

I strongly believe that the relationship between our two countries is rooted in the solid ties between the American and Chinese people. It is important that we keep nurturing and deepening these ties, especially as China reopens after three years of COVID lockdowns.

Let me be clear: while the U.S. has differences with the Chinese government, these are not disagreements with the Chinese people.

In fact, we are proud to have millions of Chinese immigrants in the United States who enrich our communities.

We are eager to welcome Chinese tourists to our country, and Chinese students to our schools and universities. China remains among the most represented countries among international students in the United States.

Our people share many things in common – far more than our differences. I understand that you are economists. As you may know, I am an economist too. I began my career in economics in the 1970s, and pursued a career in labor economics before becoming a central banker and now Treasury Secretary.

Over the course of my career, I’ve seen how China’s adoption of market-based economic policies has transformed the country and lifted many hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

It is my hope for the benefit of both China and the United States, as well as for the broader global economy, that those policies are carried out moving forward.

I know we share similar stories and experiences about what a career in economics is like, and the challenges you can face when you’re the only woman in the room or at the decision-making table.

I am eager to hear about your backgrounds and research, including what got you interested in economics in the first place and how you see your career progressing.

Thank you again for taking time to join me, and I look forward to our lunch.