REFILE-China faces important negotiations on yuan – U.S.

(Refiles to insert ambassador’s full name at first reference)

BEIJING, March 18 (BestGrowthStock) – China faces important
negotiations over its exchange rate in coming weeks, the U.S.
ambassador to China said on Thursday, adding that it was not
just the United States that wanted action on the Chinese yuan.

The currency debate has become increasingly acrimonious,
with U.S. lawmakers and quite a few economists saying Beijing
holds the yuan so low that Chinese goods enjoy an artificial
competitive edge that is distorting the global economy.

A semiannual U.S. Treasury report due in mid-April could
label China a “currency manipulator”, triggering greater
pressure on Beijing.

“We need to show real progress this year in creating new
jobs and rebalancing our relationship,” U.S. Ambassador Jon
Huntsman told an audience of students at Tsinghua University,
an elite school in Beijing.

“We hope to see more flexibility on the exchange rate,”
Huntsman said, adding that Washington also hoped to see China
lean more on domestic consumption to drive its growth.

“I suspect there will be many important negotiations in the
weeks ahead,” he said in response to a question from a student
on the exchange rate issue. “The negotiations ahead will be
very, very important.”

“This isn’t just an American issue,” he added. “There are
many countries that feel the same way.”

DEEPENING RIFT

A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday
aims to press Beijing to let the yuan rise, threatening a
deepening rift between the world’s biggest and third biggest
economies. [ID:nN16248922]

Chinese officials have given no ground, saying they will
not waver in sticking to a stable exchange rate while asserting
that their nation is being made a “scapegoat” for the United
States’ own economic woes ahead of Congressional mid-term
elections.

China says its stable yuan has been a boon to global
economic recovery.

The rising currency friction has come after two months of
quarrels between Beijing and Washington over human rights,
China’s restrictions on the Internet, U.S. arms sales to
Taiwan, and President Barack Obama’s meeting with the Dalai
Lama.

Taiwan is a self-ruled island that China regards as a
renegade province. Beijing reviles the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s
exiled Buddhist leader, as a “separatist”.

Huntsman said he was confident that Beijing and Washington
could overcome those bilateral strains to focus on solving
broader global worries, including the economy, climate change
and Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.

“This year we’re putting the relationship to the test in
trying to take it to a new level”, he said. “Differences on
Taiwan and Tibet cannot prevent us from working together.”
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(Editing by Ken Wills and Alex Richardson)

REFILE-China faces important negotiations on yuan – U.S.