Ahead of Key Visit, China Vows to Continue Currency Reforms

Posted February 9th, 2012 at 3:10 am (UTC-5)
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A senior Chinese official said Thursday that Beijing will continue recent policies that have allowed the value of its currency, the yuan, to gradually rise.

But Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai dismissed accusations that his government was pushing up the value of the yuan in order to improve the atmosphere ahead of next week's visit to the U.S. by Vice President Xi Jinping.

“If one believed that because of a high-level visit we would make a move on the exchange rate, that would truly amount to currency manipulation.”

The value of China's currency has long been a concern to Washington, which says the yuan is significantly undervalued, giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage in international markets.

Beijing has been known to sometimes allow the value of the yuan to rise ahead of key diplomatic events where criticism from trading partners is expected.

Vice President Xi, who is widely seen as China's next president, is scheduled to meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, with economic and trade issues high on the agenda. While in the U.S., Xi will also visit California and Iowa.