China says yuan currency not on Nanjing agenda

AP News
Posted: Mar 15, 2011 4:24 AM
China says yuan currency not on Nanjing agenda

The exchange rate of China's currency will not be on the agenda when a G-20 meeting is held in Nanjing at the end of the month, a Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.

The Group of 20 seminar on March 31 will be opened by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and will discuss ideas on revamping the global monetary system.

China has been under international pressure to allow a faster rise in its tightly controlled currency but Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the seminar will discuss only international monetary reform.

The renminbi "exchange rate issue is not on the agenda," she said. Renminbi is the official name for the currency, which is commonly referred to as the yuan.

The meeting will be attended by cabinet ministers and central bank governors from some G-20 countries. Sarkozy has made monetary reform one of his goals during France's G-20 presidency.

Beijing faces pressure from Washington and other trading partners to ease currency controls that they say keeps the yuan undervalued, giving China's exporters an unfair price advantage and swelling its multibillion-dollar trade surplus.

Earlier this week, China's premier Wen Jiabao ruled out allowing a faster rise in the yuan to cool surging inflation, saying Beijing has to consider the impact on Chinese companies and jobs.

Analysts say allowing the yuan to rise faster against the dollar could cool prices by making oil and other imports cheaper in Chinese currency terms. Beijing has restrained the yuan's rise since the 2008 global crisis to help exporters that employ millions of workers compete abroad.

"The appreciation of the Chinese currency should be a gradual process, because we must bear in mind its impact on Chinese businesses and our employment situation," Wen told a news conference Monday at the closing of China's annual legislature session.

Nanjing, which is close to Shanghai, is one of China's biggest business cities.