China delegation in US to ease trade dispute

Updated: 2007-05-21 23:27

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. - A Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Wu Yi arrived in the United States on Monday for two days of talks that will spotlight tensions over US trade deficits with the Asian export giant.

Just ahead of the second session of a "strategic economic dialogue" that was initiated in Beijing in December, China sought on Friday to defuse anger over what US lawmakers feel is an unfairly cheap Chinese currency by its widening a daily trading band.

That gesture, along with a modest rise in interest rates, seemed unlikely to head off threats of US legislative proposals that could restrict some imports in an effort to whittle down a US deficit with China that hit a record $233 billion last year.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who greeted the Chinese delegation, will take Wu to Capitol Hill for closed-door meetings with US lawmakers to try to give her a sense of the depth of concern over the trade imbalance.

Before she left Beijing, Wu served notice that China is not about to be pushed into moving faster on reforms than it feels is healthy for its own economic development.

Wu said any US protectionist measures would be "irresponsible acts," an evident counter to Paulson's earlier warnings about what he termed "a clear sense of frustration" with China that its officials need to recognize swiftly.

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