UPDATE 1-Yellen to seek clarity from China on COVID, property -officials

(Adds details on meetings with European officials, supply chains)

By David Lawder

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Nov 13 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will seek clarity on China’s plans to ease its COVID-19 restrictions and deal with problems in its property sector when she meets on Monday with China’s central bank chief, Treasury officials said on Sunday.

The officials told reporters in Bali, ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 big economies, that it was important for top economic officials from the world’s two largest economies to discuss global challenges face to face and learn more about each other’s policy plans.

Yellen is prepared to discuss with Peoples Bank of China Governor Yi Gang the outlook for U.S. inflation and growth, but will likely leave monetary policy plans to the Federal Reserve, the officials said.

The administration of President Joe Biden has long raised concerns about the resilience of supply chains in China that have been hit by repeated COVID-19 lockdowns and growing national security restrictions.

In India last week, Yellen made a case for closer ties between the world’s two largest democracies, with India taking on a “friend-shoring” role as a trusted supplier and counterweight to China.

Yellen’s meeting with Yi, first reported by Reuters, comes on the same day that Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in an effort to limit a recent downward spiral of the superpowers’ relations.

The Treasury officials said they do not plan to offer advice to China on its COVID restrictions or its property sector woes, but to understand Chinese officials’ approach so they can better interpret the impact of policy changes.

Yellen also will also meet with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and new Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Giancarlo Giorgetti. Among key discussion topics for these meetings will be their outlook for energy challenges during what is expected to be a difficult winter for Europe, the officials said.

Yellen also will urge her European counterparts to keep up strong fiscal support for Ukraine in a transparent and predictable way, the officials said. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by William Mallard)