DAVOS, Switzerland: China wants the rest of the world to respect its gradual
pace of economic reform, a senior Chinese central banker said here, telling
critics to "clean your own house first."
Wu Xiaoling, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, avoided naming
names but handed out the advice only a few weeks after top US financial policy
makers visited Beijing to press China to act faster on liberalizing the yuan.
"There is a Chinese saying that you should put yourself in others' shoes; you
need to respect others," she said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "We
respect other people's policies. The Chinese say, 'clean your own house first.'
"We should be very careful how we proceed, and I compare it to walking on
ice," she added.
The US Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, after meeting the Chinese
president, Hu Jintao and the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, last month, said the
Chinese reluctance to let the yuan quickly appreciate remained a core bilateral
US lawmakers say the yuan, or renminbi, is unfairly undervalued, undermining
the competitiveness of American companies and contributing to a soaring US trade
But Wu said China had "more work to do, especially in the development of the
"The renminbi will more and more reflect market forces, but we will not have
dramatic change in the short term," Wu said.
Beijing ended a direct peg between the dollar and the yuan in July 2005, and
since then it has let the currency rise gradually against a basket of
currencies. On Thursday the yuan was at its highest point since the revaluation.
The Chinese economy, which grew at its fastest rate in more than a decade in
2006, has been a major issue at Davos.
China has implemented a series of curbs to keep its economic expansion in
check, but the world's fourth-largest economy has still achieved double-digit
growth in each of the past four years.
The United States says the yuan needs to rise faster to ease global economic
imbalances - Asia runs a large current account surplus, and the United
States absorbs roughly 70 percent of excess global savings - and to prevent
a sudden and disorderly correction.