US lawmakers told not to 'politicize' currency

Updated: 2007-06-14 20:33

China appealed to US lawmakers on Thursday not to politicize a currency dispute or resort to pressure after four senators announced legislation to penalize Beijing.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang called on Washington to recognize Beijing is making progress in easing controls that critics say keep its currency undervalued and add to swollen Chinese trade surplus.

"We hope the US senators can view the importance of the healthy development of China-US economic relations from a strategic perspective, properly handle the frictions in our economic ties and trade between the two sides, not politicize the economic issue and not solve the issue by exerting pressure," Qin said.

US Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham said Wednesday they were introducing legislation to penalize countries with a "fundamentally misaligned currency." It would allow tariffs and other punitive measures against violators.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd and Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama said they were introducing a measure that would direct the US government to pursue currency cases before the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization.

China revalued the yuan by 2.1 percent against the US dollar in July 2005 and has allowed it to rise by about 5.7 percent in trading since then. But the United States and other trading partners have been pressing for faster action.

"The reform will go on," Qin said at a regular news briefing.

"As for the direction for the future reform, it shall better reflect the demand and supply of the market," he said. "We hope the United States can recognize this point in a just manner."

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