China has hit back at the US after President Obama vowed to get tough with Beijing on trade and the exchange rate, adding to tension between the two countries on several fronts.
It has defended its trade policy, after the US President promised to make sure that countries like China respect existing agreements.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Yhaoxu told a news briefing:
“Given the international balance of payments and market supply and demand, the level of the yuan is already reasonable and balanced, “ he said. “Accusations and pressure don“t help.”
American companies have long complained that China undervalues its currency, giving it an unfair advantage over the dollar and leading to an influx of cheap Chinese goods around the world.
Trade figures released late last year suggest China is poised to become the world“s leading exporter.
Earlier, Barack Obama said the US would not become protectionist but would put pressure on Beijing to open up markets.
“One of the challenges to address internationally is currency rates and how they match up,” he said, “to make sure our goods are not artificially inflated in price and theirs are not artificially deflated. That puts us at a huge competitive disadvantage.”
China has also warned Obama against seeing the Dalai Lama. It says a meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, which may happen this month, would further damage relations.
Beijing is already angry with Washington over a weapons package for Taiwan worth the equivalent of 4.6 billion euros. It has defended its decision to impose sanctions on US firms which sell arms to the the self-ruled island that China considers to be a breakaway province.
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