US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will arrive in China for a fourth time
next week, meeting with Chinese leaders for talks on economic and trade issues,
his office announced on Tuesday.
The visit comes as the US Congress has renewed pressure on US President
George W. Bush over a revaluation of the yuan.
"This trip is part of an ongoing process of strengthening our strategic
economic relationship to address long term issues such as working with China to
rebalance its growth and increase the flexibility of its currency, and also
addressing short term issues as they arise," said Paulson in a public statement.
He is scheduled to travel to Beijing next Tuesday, meeting with President Hu
Jintao and Vice-Premier Wu Yi to raise issues of concern to the US congress, as
well as following up on areas in need of action identified at the last meeting
of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Washington in May.
President Hu and his US counterpart George W. Bush launched the China-US SED
last year in order to provide a focused and effective framework for addressing
issues of mutual concern. The first meeting was held in Beijing last December.
Beginning the China trip with a visit to Qinghai Lake in the northwestern
part of the country, Paulson's visit will also highlight global environmental
"The only way to make progress on climate change is to engage all the large
economies, developed and developing, to work toward embracing cleaner technology
and reducing emissions," he said.
The Bush administration is coming under fresh pressure from Congress to show
results from the SED discussions, particularly in currency values.
It has been reported that the US Senate Finance Committee will begin drafting
legislation tomorrow that is intended to increase pressure on China to let its
currency rise in value.
The proposals the committee aims to turn into legislation were unveiled last
month by four US senators acting after the Treasury Department declined to name
China a currency manipulator in a semiannual report on the currency practices of
key trade partners.
Analysts have welcomed Paulson's visit as an opportunity to maintain positive
dialogue with Chinese authorities, and improve the chance of solving trade
Guo Tianyong, a banking professor with the Central University of Finance and
Economics pointed out that China has granted foreign banks more freedom and
promoted broader participation by foreign players in the financial market.
"The greater freedoms foreign banks enjoy is a sign of China's willingness to
open up its financial industry," Guo recently wrote, adding that the promotion
of foreign players in the financial market was a concession reached through
trade negotiations with the US.
Guo said he expected China to continue to push forward currency reforms in an
active, gradual and controllable manner.
(China Daily 07/26/2007 page2)