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Here’s who Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is going to meet in China

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, center, waits with others to receive Chinese President Xi Jinping at the San Francisco International Airport on Nov. 14, 2023, ahead of Xi’s meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BEIJING — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was scheduled to arrive in China on Thursday ahead of four full days of meetings with Chinese officials.

It’s her second trip to the country since the summer, as the U.S. and China seek to increase high-level communication in an otherwise tense relationship. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also due to visit China again later this year.

“I think our expectation is that we will at senior levels, and increasingly at all levels, continue to have ongoing and deepening dialogue. We went for too long with too little communication, and misunderstandings developed,” Yellen told reporters ahead of her arrival in China.

Her trip will cover the southern city of Guangzhou — the capital of China’s export-heavy province of Guangdong — and the national capital of Beijing, according to a press release.

Here’s her full itinerary of meetings:

  • Friday, April 5 — meet with Vice Premier He Lifeng, Guangdong Governor Wang Weizhong, economic experts and AmCham China business representatives
  • Saturday, April 6 — continue meetings with Vice Premier He Lifeng
  • Sunday, April 7 — meet with Premier Li Qiang, Finance Minister Lan Fo’an, Beijing mayor Yin Yong, leading Chinese economists and Peking University students and professors
  • Monday, April 8 — meet with former Vice Premier Liu He, People’s Bank of China Governor Pan Gongsheng

What will they talk about?

According to the Treasury, Yellen will discuss “unfair trade practices and underscoring the global economic consequences of Chinese industrial overcapacity.”

China has faced growing global scrutiny over how the country’s emphasis on building up its manufacturing capabilities, including the use of subsidies and policy support to do so, has helped Chinese companies to sell products such as solar panels at far lower prices than manufacturers in other countries.

In March, European Union Chamber of Commerce President Jens Eskelund said trade tensions between the EU and China will likely escalate as a result.

Here's what to expect from Secretary Yellen's upcoming visit to China

Guangdong is by far the top province in China by value of exports, according to Wind Information.

The province exported nearly 5.4 trillion yuan ($750 billion) in manufactured products last year, with equipment accounting for two thirds, according to Tu Gaokun, director of Guangdong’s industry and information technology department.

He told reporters last week the province was “committed” to improving productivity, and noted how it aimed to build up sectors such as new energy storage, biomanufacturing and commercial aviation.

Tackling ‘illicit finance’



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Ex-Post Office boss regrets ‘missed opportunity’ to halt Horizon scandal

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“On reflection, and I have reflected on this very hard, when I finished being the Horizon programme director [in early 2000] it would have been very beneficial if I had notified both the lawyers and the [investigations team] that Horizon was a new system coming in, and that they should be very cautious about evidence coming out of that system,” he said.



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Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and debt restructuring efforts By Reuters

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COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s government rejected a proposal from its international bondholders on Tuesday on restructuring the more than $12 billion the country owes to them.

It means a near two-year spell in default will drag on for Sri Lanka and that the country’s next tranche of vital IMF support money could potentially get delayed.

Below is a timeline of the key events in the crisis and the efforts to resolve it:

2021-2022: Sri Lanka’s economy crumbles after years of overspending leaves its foreign exchange reserves critically low and the government unable to pay for essentials, such as fuel and medicine.

The country’s bonds suffer from multiple downgrades by credit rating agencies warning of the increasing risk of default. At the start of 2022 it manages to make a $500 million bond payment but it leaves its foreign exchange reserves precariously low.

MAY, 2022 – Sri Lanka is declared in default after it fails to make a smaller $78 million bond coupon payment.

JULY, 2022 – Public anger drives protesters to storm then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office and residence. Rajapaksa flees to the Maldives, before moving on to Singapore.

Current President Ranil Wickremesinghe is voted into power by Sri Lankan lawmakers.

MARCH, 2023 – The International Monetary Fund approves a near $3 billion bailout for Sri Lanka after talks with Wickremesinghe’s government and assurances about its plans to repair the country’s finances.

OCTOBER, 2023

Sri Lanka announces an agreement with China’s EXIM (export/import) Bank to delay payments on about $4.2 billion worth of loans the Chinese lender it has extended to the country.

NOVEMBER, 2023

Other creditor nations including India, Japan and France agree to restructure about $5.9 billion in debt.

MARCH, 2024

A group of Sri Lankan officials arrives in London to meet with a number of investment funds that hold its more than $12 billion worth of government bonds. Talks advance to the key “restricted” phase where proposals are discussed privately and those involved agree not to buy or sell any of the debt on the open market.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of the main business district as rain clouds gather above in Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/File Photo

APRIL, 2024

The government rejects a proposal tabled by the bondholders. The main stumbling blocks are that some the “baseline” assumptions used differ to those of the IMF and that the plan did not include a contingency option for the government in case the economy fails to recover as expected.





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AI could gobble up a quarter of all electricity in the U.S. by 2030 if it doesn’t break its addiction

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Before artificial intelligence can transform society, the technology will first have to learn how to live within its means.

Right now generative AI have an “insatiable demand” for electricity to power the tens of thousands of compute clusters needed to operate large language models like OpenAI’s GPT-4, warned chief marketing officer Ami Badani from chip design company Arm Holdings. 

If generative AI is ever going to be able to run on every mobile device from a laptop and tablet to a smartphone, it will have to be able to scale without overwhelming the electricity grid at the same time.

“We won’t be able to continue the advancements of AI without addressing power,” Badani told Fortune’s Brainstorm AI conference in London on Monday. “ChatGPT requires 15 times more energy than a traditional web search.” 

Not only are more businesses using generative AI, but the tech industry is in a race to develop new and more powerful tools that will mean compute demand is only going to grow—and power consumption with it, unless something can be done. 

The latest breakthrough from OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is Sora. It can create super realistic or stylized clips of video footage up to 60 seconds in length purely based on user text prompts. 

The marvel of GenAI comes at a steep cost

“It takes a 100,000 AI chips working at full compute capacity and full power consumption in order to train Sora,” Badani said. “That’s a huge amount.” 

Data centers, where most AI models are trained, currently account for 2% of global electricity consumption, according to Badani. But with generative AI expected to go mainstream, she predicts it could end up devouring a quarter of all power in the United States in 2030.

The solution to this conundrum is to develop semiconductor chips that are optimized to run on a minimum of energy.

That’s where Arm comes in: its RISC processor designs currently run on 99% of all smartphones, as opposed to the rival x86 architecture developed by Intel. The latter has been a standard for desktop PCs, but proved too inefficient to run battery-powered handheld devices like smartphones and tablets. 

Arm is adopting that same design philosophy for AI.

“If you think about AI, it comes with a cost,” Badani said, “and that cost is unfortunately power.”  

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