Yellen says U.S. to resume discussions on economic issues with China at 'appropriate time'

FILE PHOTO: Janet Yellen is staying put to oversee billions in climate spending

By David Lawder

BENGALURU (Reuters) -U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday the United States would resume discussions with China on economic issues "at an appropriate time" but is continuing to warn Beijing of the consequences of violating U.S. sanctions on Russia.

At a news conference ahead of a G20 financial leaders meeting in Bengaluru, Yellen said communication between the United States and China was important for "the sake of the entire globe."

Some engagements between Washington and Beijing have been suspended following the downing of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that floated over the continental United States, leaving the timing of previously planned visits to China by Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken unclear.

Yellen said she did not have any details on timing of her visit focused on economic and financial issues, but said: "I believe we will resume at an appropriate time those discussions."

Turning to U.S. sanctions on Russia over its war in Ukraine, Yellen reiterated Washington's warnings.

"We have made clear that providing material support to Russia or assistance with any type of systemic sanctions evasion would be a very serious concern to us," she said.

"And we will certainly continue to make clear to the Chinese government and to companies and banks in their jurisdictions what the rules are regarding our sanctions and the serious consequences that they would face in violating them."

She also said she was hopeful that China would cooperate with other countries seeking to provide debt relief to distressed countries, especially Zambia and Sri Lanka.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Writing by Shivam Patel; Editing by Alex Richardson and Tomasz Janowski)