Chinese Premier plays down trade rift with US

Chinese Premier plays down trade rift with US

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has expressed optimism that the United States and China would resolve major trade frictions, even as he rejected US claims that Beijing's currency policies cost American jobs.

Despite sometimes tough words, Mr Wen used much of a speech on the sidelines of a United Nations global summit to try to ease US anger against China ahead of today's meeting with President Barack Obama.

Relations between the powers have suffered recently, but Mr Wen sought to play down economic, military and diplomatic tensions.

The United States and China, Mr Wen told business leaders gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, are "not rivals in competition but partners in cooperation".

Mr Wen, however, pushed back against US claims that Beijing's tightly regulated, undervalued currency - the yuan - gives China's exporters an artificial advantage over US manufacturers.

Ahead of US congressional elections in November and at a time of high American unemployment, China's economic and trade policies are a major friction in ties with Washington.

Mr Wen warned that China's currency must not be turned into a political issue between the countries. He saw no link between the yuan's value and China's trade advantage over the United States.

The politically sensitive US trade deficit with China jumped to €26.2bn (€19.5bn) in June, the largest one-month gap since October 2008.

"We do not seek a trade surplus," Mr Wen said through an interpreter. Many Chinese companies, he said, would go bankrupt and workers would suffer if the Chinese currency rose drastically.

The Obama administration must balance pressure on Beijing's economic policies with its desire for Chinese help in settling nuclear standoffs with North Korea and Iran and on other global initiatives.

China is a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council and recently passed Japan as the world's second-biggest economy.

More in this Section

Legislation to test self-driving cars on Irish roads approvedLegislation to test self-driving cars on Irish roads approved

Businessman who defrauded Revenue of €160k jailed for two yearsBusinessman who defrauded Revenue of €160k jailed for two years

Opec strikes deal with Russia to cut crude oil productionOpec strikes deal with Russia to cut crude oil production

Manchester United link up with Chinese company Alibaba GroupManchester United link up with Chinese company Alibaba Group


Lifestyle

Architect and artist Harry Wallace tells Eve Kelliher how his style has evolved.How a lifetime as an architect has inspired Cork artist Harry Wallace

Don’t let present stress ruin your run-up to Christmas. Pat Fitzpatrick has done all the hard work with this tongue-in-cheek gift guide for every budget, so you can tick everyone off your list and get down to enjoying yourself for the festive season.Gift stressbuster: We sort out who gets what and why

It’s not what you have that makes you happy, it’s what you do. And what better time to be proactive than during the season of goodwill, says Margaret Jennings.Joy to the world: Strategies to increase your happiness during the season of goodwill

For a magical mantelpiece makeover the natural way, foliage and garlands add showstopping sparkle to the scene, says Hannah Stephenson.Bring Christmas cheer indoors: Foliage and garlands add showstopping sparkle

More From The Irish Examiner