United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has pressed China to open its markets further by removing restrictions on technology transfers in talks with Chinese vice-premier Wang Yang . “Promoting innovation and open markets is in our mutual interest,” Lew said before the meeting with Wang in Beijing on Monday. “We have already made clear our concerns regarding forced technology transfer and other attempts to bar technological competition, most recently in the banking sector, and I look forward to further discussion today.” Lew said the discussion aimed to build a “trade and investment relationship that provides a level playing field and supports jobs and growth”. “In addition, it is critical that China continues to move to a more market-determined exchange rate and a more transparent exchange rate policy,” Lew said, according to a US Treasury Department press release. Some analysts believed that Lew’s visit might have been arranged to discuss a possible US move to follow its allies in joining the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) bank, as the trip had been arranged in haste and came before the March 31 deadline for countries applying for founding membership to the bank. US has not announced a decision on the matter, but analysts believed Lew would definitely discuss it when he mets Chinese leaders, including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang . Lew came to China on behalf of President Barack Obama. He will also meet Lou Jiwei, China’s finance minister and soon-to-be head of the AIIB. Other items to be discussed inlcude President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US in September and the Sino-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue. “The timing of Secretary Lew’s visit to coincide with the deadline for countries applying for founding membership of the AIIB may signal that the US has decided to join,” said Tim Condon, chief economist and head of Research at ING Asia. The US has stood on the sidelines as countries rushed to join the AIIB. On Saturday, Russia, Brazil, the Netherlands and Denmark said they would sign on. A day earlier, Georgia, Turkey and South Korea filed their applications. The four leading European economies – the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy – announced they would join earlier in March. Of the world’s major economies, only the US, Japan and Canada have not declared their intention to join the bank. Hao Hong, chief economist and managing director of Bocom International, expected the AIIB to be high on Lew’s agenda. Hong said that as the US influence in the new organisation was waning, Washington’s participation represented an opportunity for it to steer the future direction of AIIB from within. “Previously, the US said its main concerns were the AIIB’s ability to adhere to best practices. Yet in world where standards are in a race to the bottom, such reasoning looks really pale,” Hong said. Analysts said Lew would also press Beijing to adopt a more market-determined exchange rate policy as Wall Street investors believed a rising yuan would help US and the global economies. But Hong said that yuan had strengthened and the central bank was intervening less. “As such, continuing to find faults in the yuan could backfire. China’s ambition to found an alternative currency system is clear. The US should start worrying now,” Hong said.