Chinese official refutes accusation of China as currency manipulator

Updated 2016-11-24 16:34:37 Xinhua

A senior Chinese official on Wednesday refuted the accusation of China as currency manipulator, saying that China has been making progress in its market-oriented reforms of the country's foreign exchange system.

Exchange rate issue is not new in China-U.S. relationship, said Zhang Xiangchen, China's deputy international trade representative with the Ministry of Commerce said at a press briefing for the 27th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) held here on Wednesday.

Academic and political communities have already made the conclusion that China does not manipulate its currency, said Zhang when asked about comments on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's plan to label China as a currency manipulator after he takes office.

Zhang stressed that China has "paid close attention" to Trump's remarks during his presidential campaign, particularly his remarks on the U.S.-China economic and trade relations, and that China is also "closely observing" what he will do after he takes office.

China has been making progress in its market-oriented reforms of foreign exchange rate system, said Zhang.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in its October report that China does not meet the standard of manipulating its currency, and cited China's progress in reducing its current account surplus to GDP ratio.

China's central bank has improved communication on its exchange rate policy with the market since early this year and has taken measures to deal with the depreciation of its currency, the Renminbi or RMB, said the report.

C. Fred Bergsten, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said it's not justifiable to say that China is manipulating its currency.

Chinese authorities have taken measures to prevent the RMB from sliding, which has promoted U.S. competitiveness rather than undermined it, said the expert.

"It would thus be factually incorrect, as well as ineffectual, for the new Trump administration to label China a currency manipulator," said Bergsten.

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