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The US and allies could take action to counter China’s ‘economic coercion,’ Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says

Janet YellenFederal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen holds a news conference following day two of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, U.S., December 14, 2016.

REUTERS/Gary Cameron

  • The US could take action against China’s “economic coercion,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.
  • Measures include possibly extending limits on investments in China.
  • Yellen’s comments come amid growing tensions between the two superpowers. 

The US and other countries in the Group of Seven could take action to counter China’s “economic coercion,” according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

In a press conference at the G7 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on Thursday, Yellen said that the US had been mulling a counter measures against China’s coercive economic policies for awhile, potentially with the coordinated help of other countries. 

Such measures could include extending the current sanctions on investments in China with other G7 nations, she said, but added that no official action had been decided on yet.

“We have been engaging in discussions with our G7 colleagues, and I would expect that that would continue these meetings, at least in some informal way,” Yellen said, per Reuters‘ report.”My own view is that this should be national security focused. It’s not focused at all on undermining, say, China’s economic competitiveness or ability to advance economically.”

She pointed in particular to China’s sanctions against Australia and Lithuania, which she described as a clear act of coercion, Reuters reported.

Her comments come amid growing tensions between the US and China, with Chinese officials expressing fury over the last year as US politicians signaled their support for Taiwan and grilled TikTok CEO Shou Chew in a March congressional hearing. Lawmakers have floated a ban or a forced sale of TikTok in the US to address security concerns. 

Though Treasury officials have said the US isn’t seeking to decouple economically from China, Chinese officials have suggested possible retaliation if its companies continue to face harsh treatment in America. Recently, the nation updated its anti-espionage laws, and has begun cracking down on foreign firms operating in China to prevent spying.

That’s led some experts to warn of a growing rift between the two countries. Tensions are now approaching a red-line, one Yale economist said, and the two powers could potentially be on the brink of war, billionaire investor Ray Dalio warned.

Read the original article on Business Insider