The Chinese Premier, Wen Jiaboa, was all smiles ahead of frosty discussions with EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday.
He told them to stop pressuring China to revalue its currency.
The EU have accused China of keeping the yuan artificially weak to promote exports.
They argue this is undermining jobs and economic growth in the West.
Daniel Gros, from the Centre for European Policy Studies, believes the EU has little negotiating power with China:
“The EU don’t have a strategic partnership with China as the US has. The Chinese consider the EU as a nice large market, but not something that is politically important for them.”
Wen Jiaboa told the forum that reforms were underway to make exchange rates between the euro and the yuan more flexible.
EU leaders had argued for a more rapid and substantial appreciation.
The disagreement clouded the meeting.
euronews’ Correspondent in Brussels, Sergio Cantone, reports the summit has been “particularly difficult.”
“The Chinese”, he said, “have successfully rejected any attempt by the EU officials of winning them over to re-evaluate their national currency.”