US looking for progress on yuan by January

The United States wants progress on China's pledge to let the yuan rise against the dollar by the time President Hu Jintao visits Washington in January, a senior official said Saturday.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated in recent weeks that the yuan is "undervalued" and is penalising the US economy and boosting Chinese exports, and the issue formed a rift between the two sides at this week's G20 summit.

"The Chinese have have indicated this is the direction they want to go on -- the pacing of it is obviously a sovereign decision by them," Obama's national security advisor Tom Donilon told reporters at a Pacific Rim summit.

"We will certainly be looking to see the direction and the progress that is made.

"By the time of President Hu Jintao's visit in January, I think, would be a good time to look at what has been the quantum of progress... on this."

The United States wants progress on China's pledge to let the yuan rise against the dollar by the time President Hu Jintao visits Washington in January, a senior official said Saturday… Read more

Donilon also said that contrary to some reports there had been no "heated exchanges" between Obama and Hu at their meeting in Seoul on the sidelines of the G20, which was dominated by discussion of the currency issue.

The Chinese currency has appreciated by about two percent against the dollar since Beijing pledged in June to allow it to trade more freely.

But China has warned that any sudden rise in the value of the unit would pummel its businesses and trigger massive unemployment.

"We will continue to steadily move forward the reform of the renminbi exchange rate regime in a self-initiated, controllable and gradual manner," Hu said on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Yokohama.

Late last month, People's Bank of China adviser Li Daokui said Beijing was comfortable with a three-to-five percent annual appreciation of the yuan, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

AFP

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