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'Don't force China to appreciate its currency'

By Su Qiang and Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-10-07 09:21
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BRUSSELS - Premier Wen Jiabao on Oct 6 urged politicians and business leaders from the European Union (EU) not to force China to appreciate its currency, saying the US dollar, not the Chinese yuan, is to blame for the fluctuation of the euro.

'Don't force China to appreciate its currency'

The closing ceremony of the eighth ASEM summit in progress in Brussels on Oct 5, 2010. [Photo/AFP] 

Wen also said the trade imbalance between China and Europe is due to structural reasons and "should not be politicized".

Even though the value of the renminbi has increased by 22 percent since 2005, China's exports to the United States have boosted, he said.

"So the value of the Chinese yuan is not the reason for trade imbalance," Wen said while speaking at the sixth EU-China Business Summit in Brussels on Oct 6.

Even in 2009, when the global economy was in crisis, EU exports to China increased by 4 percent and during the first half of this year, jumped by 42 percent year-on-year.

"China is a firm supporter of the EU's efforts in its economic recovery because the EU is our strategic partner," he said.

Wen said whenever some countries have been in extreme crisis and difficulties, China has stepped in to help them stabilize their debt. "I've promised to deliver more help when these countries need (it)," Wen said.

"I'm quite clear that China has been taking great efforts to treat the EU as a true friend and strategic partner," he said.

"We hope all the 30,000 European businesses in China could gain huge profits. As a premier, I'll try hard to boost comprehensive business ties between China and Europe."

Wen said he is aware that business leaders in Europe have been concerned about the renminbi's value, China's investment environment and intellectual property rights protection.

At the summit, both Chinese and European leaders committed to boosting innovation to lay down a solid foundation for future economic growth.

Earlier on Oct 6, Wen also encouraged more cultural exchanges between China and the EU at a high-level cultural forum in Brussels, saying cultural interactions have a more profound impact than exchanges in the political and economic fields.

"Culture is a bridge that connects people's hearts and minds, and a bond that enhances understanding and trust between states," the premier said during a speech at the China-EU High-Level Cultural Forum.

Wen noted that Oriental and Western civilizations are distinctly different, yet both are open and inclusive.

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"Different geographies have nurtured a variety of cultures, each with unique features and attributes. They are like shining stars in the sky, adding radiance to each other and illuminating the vast universe," he said.

The premier described the forum as a creative event in the history of cultural exchanges.

"The forum symbolizes a new stage in our cultural interactions and a step forward in the overall China-EU relations," Wen said.

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said that building stronger ties between European and Chinese people will add momentum to the bilateral relationship.

"Intellectuals and artists are essential to foster understanding between cultures and people. No one anywhere in the world can live without ideas," he said.