Yuan reform, but no manipulation: Foreign Ministry

Updated 2017-02-15 13:34:34 chinadaily.com.cn

China hopes that "relevant sides" will look on the renminbi rate issue "in a right manner", a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

China has never undervalued its currency to get export advantages, spokesman Geng Shuang said at a news conference, adding that China will continue to push forward reform of the RMB rate mechanism.

There is no basis for the continuous devaluation of RMB, he said.

Geng's remarks are in response to a Wall Street Journal report that said U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is considering a new tactic to avoid direct confrontation with Beijing on the currency issue.

Under the plan, the U.S. commerce secretary would designate the practice of currency manipulation as an unfair subsidy when employed by any country, instead of singling out China, the newspaper reported.

The Trump administration would avoid, at least for now, making claims about whether China is manipulating its currency, the newspaper reported, citing people with knowledge of the policy. During his election campaign Trump used to threaten to label China as a currency manipulator.

Jin Yong, a professor of international relations studies at the Communication University of China, said that if the new currency tact is enacted, it would suggest Trump is taking a softer approach toward China.

Accusing China of currency manipulation could lead to trade conflicts between the world top two economies, which will leave no winner, he said.

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