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Washington warns Beijing, its stance on Russia threatens its “integration” into the global economy

Janet Yellen at the Atlantic Council in Washington, April 13, 2022 (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

Janet Yellen at the Atlantic Council in Washington, April 13, 2022 (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

China’s position vis-a-vis Russia threatens its “integration” into the global economy, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on Wednesday, calling for reforms at key global economic institutions such as the IMF.

“The world’s attitude toward China, and its willingness to embrace deeper economic integration, may be influenced by China’s response to our call for decisive action against Russia,” the minister warned. Economics and Finance by Joe Biden, in a speech to the Atlantic Council, a US think tank.

“The war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia emphasize China’s central role,” the finance minister said.

Beijing remained a partner of Moscow despite the invasion of Ukraine. “China recently confirmed its special relationship with Russia. I fervently hope that China will do something positive with this relationship and help end this war,” Yellen said.

And to warn the Asian giant that “it will become increasingly difficult in the future to separate economic issues from broader considerations of national interest, including national security”.

The minister generally criticized the countries and companies that have not severed their commercial ties with Russia, stressing that these countries undoubtedly hope to “fill the void left by the others by preserving their relations with Russia”. in the long-term”.

The United States and its Western allies have passed several rounds of economic and financial sanctions against Russia, including asset freezes and transaction bans against major Russian banks.

These measures should “force the Kremlin to choose between supporting its economy and financing the continuation of (Vladimir) Putin’s brutal war,” recalls Janet Yellen.

– Reform of international institutions –

The finance minister also called for reform of key global economic institutions, saying the war in Ukraine has demonstrated the need to develop organizations such as the International Monetary Fund.

“We need to modernize our existing institutions – the IMF and the multilateral development banks – to make them fit for the 21st century, where challenges and risks become increasingly global,” she said, five days after the spring meetings of the IMF and the IMF began. World Bank, which will again take place in hybrid mode.

In particular, Ms Yellen called for “the governance of the institution to be looked at to ensure it reflects both the current global economy and the commitments of members to the underlying principles and objectives of the IMF”.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to invent a whole new financial architecture. But we need to empower these institutions to meet the challenges of the modern age,” she said during a Q&A session. .

“Some might say that now is not the time to think big,” the minister admitted. “But I think now is a good time to fix the flaws in our international financial system that are causing us problems in real time.”

In addition to the situation in Ukraine, next week’s meetings will also focus on vaccine delivery, the fight against global warming and support for low-income countries, Janet Yellen said.

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