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China To U.S. -- Leave Our Currency Alone

Chinese Foreign Ministry says the exchange rate must benefit Chinese economic development; U.S. says it is too high and hurting American manufacturers.

BEIJING (Kyodo) - China's government warned U.S. lawmakers Tuesday not to try to pressure it into revaluing the Chinese currency.

Qin Gang, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told reporters in Beijing that high-level negotiations over China's huge trade surplus with the United States had made good progress and the issue should not be needlessly politicized.

''As for whether the renminbi is high or low, U.S. congressmen say it's high, but this is whose criteria? It's America's,'' he said.

''Ultimately, the renminbi exchange rate must suit China's economic realties - benefit China's economic development and the whole world's economic development,'' he added.

Qin's comments come as a group of U.S. senators are proposing legislation that would impose tariffs on Chinese imports if China does not revalue its currency.

Many U.S. politicians say Beijing is deliberately keeping the value of its currency low, making Chinese goods cheap and threatening manufacturing jobs in the United States.

China announced Monday that its trade surplus with the rest of the world totaled $22.45 billion in May, up 73 percent from the same month a year earlier. The surplus for the first five months of the year is nearly $86 billion.


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