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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

China, US Begin Annual Economic Talk

Senior Chinese and US financial and monetary officials started their annual Joint Economic Committee (JEC) talks yesterday afternoon in Xianghe, a town 50 kilometers east of Beijing.


The meeting, the 17th of its kind, was co-chaired by Finance Minister Jin Renqing and his US counterpart John Snow.


Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan also sat face to face across the negotiation table.


Both countries dispatched nearly 40 delegates to the talks, senior officials from regulators and administrators on securities, banking, insurance, foreign exchange and commerce.


Details of the topics discussed were not immediately available, but Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan had said earlier that they were expected to cover issues including the RMB exchange rate and the global economy.

On July 21, the Chinese government announced that its currency would be traded at a rate of 8.11 to the US dollar and its peg to the US dollar would switch to a basket of foreign currencies. Since then, the yuan has appreciated by nearly two percent against the US dollar.


Premier Wen Jiabao, responding to charges that a continued undervaluation of the yuan gave Chinese exporters an unfair advantage, has previously said reform of the RMB exchange rate mechanism should be "a gradual process."


Zhao Jinping, a State Council Development and Research Center economist, said Wen's remarks showed the goal of China's exchange rate reform is clear and consistent and would not change due to outside criticism.


"What should be discussed currently is how to minimize the impact of the reform to the world economy rather than pressing China for a faster speed," he said.


Finance Minister Jin put it in a more direct way, saying that the yuan appreciation would not remove economic imbalances of the world, especially of certain nations, and that China will not follow the "orders" of others in conducting its exchange rate reform.


Established in 1979, the JEC has served as a regular forum for Chinese and US officials to discuss economic issues.


Today, they are due to continue their meeting at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, and it is expected to close this afternoon.


(Xinhua News Agency October 17, 2005)

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