August 25, 2021

By Norihiko Shirouzu

BEIJING (Reuters) -A group of Wall Street figures and Chinese officials aiming to strengthen financial sector ties and bolster bilateral relations plans to hold a virtual meeting for the first time in a year, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The China-U.S. Financial Roundtable (CUFR), formed amid escalating tensions in 2018, last met virtually in October 2020 after meeting twice in person in the previous year, before the coronavirus outbreak.

It plans to convene again this autumn, the person said.

The group, co-chaired by former Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan and John Thornton, a veteran of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and chairman of Barrick Gold Corp, was initially set up to meet on a routine basis.

Previous meetings have been organised and hosted by Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and president of the CUFR.

The CSRC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

The meeting typically includes a first session focused on the financial sector and a second that discusses broader bilateral issues.

It will take place as China has accelerated the pace of opening up its massive financial sector to U.S. firms in recent years despite rising Sino-U.S. tensions, after years of lobbying to get better access.

News of the planned meeting was first reported by Bloomberg.

Participants in last year’s event included officials from U.S. financial heavyweights including Fidelity, Citi, JPMorgan and BlackRock.

(Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing and Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Writing by Tony MunroeEditing by Kim Coghill/Mark Heinrich)