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Janet Yellen says the US wants to work with China

Political and economic tensions between the United States and China have been on the rise. But during a closed-door meeting with business leaders on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stressed that the United States wants to work with China on urgent global challenges, a person familiar with the matter told CNN.

The comments by Yellen signal increased efforts by US officials to lower the temperature in the complicated and intertwined relationship between Washington and Beijing, the first- and second-biggest economies in the world, respectively, reports my colleague Matt Egan.

Yellen met with the board of the US-China Business Council, a group that promotes trade between the world’s two largest economies in Washington. The council’s board includes the CEOs of multinationals, including FedEx, Pepsi, Walmart and Ford.

Yellen stressed the importance of both trade and investment with China but also acknowledged concerns about barriers to accessing China’s vast market and Beijing’s use of non-market tools, the source told CNN.

In what could be a significant step in the right direction, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to travel to China in the coming weeks, two US officials and a source familiar with the matter previously told CNN.

Meanwhile, a flurry of US-based CEOs visited China last week, including Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.