US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng met in San Francisco ahead of the upcoming talks between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The talks are expected to address various issues including trade, technology, and investment. While both sides have expressed a willingness to improve ties, experts do not anticipate any major breakthroughs. The talks are crucial for the global economy, as a strained relationship between the two countries could lead to slower growth and greater inequality. Some key economic issues between the US and China include declining trade flows and an escalating chip war. The US has been reducing its exposure to Chinese markets and suppliers, causing China to drop to the third-largest trading partner of the US. Furthermore, there has been a trend of companies redirecting or planning to divert investment originally planned for China, and foreign direct investment into China has turned negative for the first time in 25 years. The US and China have also been engaged in a feud over China's access to advanced semiconductors, with the US implementing export controls to prevent potential use of the hardware for China's military advancement. Beijing has accused Washington of weaponizing trade and tech issues in response.
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