US would sanction China if it 'moves aggressively' against Taiwan: US Treasury Secretary

Yellen said the U.S. would show the same resolve as it did in the case of Russia.

Sulaiman Daud | April 09, 2022, 12:10 PM

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said she does not see the need to impose sanctions on China due to its trade relationship with Russia at this point.

However, she said the U.S. will be prepared to do so if China "moves aggressively" against Taiwan, according to PBS.

Testimony before House Committee

Yellen was giving testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on Apr. 7 (Singapore time), as part of her annual testimony on the state of the international financial system.

The former Chair of the Federal Reserve informed the committee that Covid-19 has left its mark on many countries, who are facing higher debt burdens and limited policy options.

Yellen also commented on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and specifically the reports of mass civilian killings by Russian forces in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

She said the invasion, including the "atrocities" reportedly committed against Ukrainians in Bucha, represent an "unacceptable affront" to the rules-based global order and said it will have "enormous economic repercussions".

On the financial and economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S., Yellen said that her department was committed to holding Russia accountable for its actions, so that they cannot benefit from the international financial system.

'Don't doubt U.S. resolve': Yellen

U.S. Representatives also questioned Yellen on China, which views Taiwan as part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to take control of the self-ruled island.

Congressman Patrick McHenry, Republican from North Carolina, asked if Treasury would be willing to use sanctions against China as it has against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Yellen said that if Beijing moves aggressively towards Taipei, the U.S. is prepared to impose sanctions.

"I believe we’ve shown that we can in the case of Russia. I think you should not doubt our ability to resolve to do the same in other situations," Yellen said.

You can watch her testimony below:

No need for sanctions on China at the moment

Previously, in a Mar. 25 interview with CNBCYellen said there was no need to impose sanctions on China because of its ties to Russia.

"I don't think that's necessary or appropriate," Yellen said.

While the U.S. would be "very concerned" if China were to supply Russia with weapons, or to try evading the sanctions imposed on the Russian financial system and central bank, Yellen said she does not see it happening at this point.

Yellen added that "senior" U.S. officials are talking "privately and quietly" with China to make sure they understand their position.

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Top image from PBS.

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