Premier: Yuan appreciated 14.5% in last two years
By Qiang Xiaoji (chinadaily.com.cn/Xinhua)
Updated: 2010-03-14 10:42
Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday that keeping the RMB exchange rate basically stable had played an important role in facilitating the recovery of the global economy from the worst financial crisis in decades.
Wen said China's real effective exchange rate appreciated 14.5 percent between July 2008 and February 2009, the worst time of the world economy.
During this period, China's exports fell by 16 percent but imports only dropped 11 percent and its trade surplus decreased $102 billion.
He said keeping the yuan exchange rate basically stable had played an important role in facilitating the recovery of the global economy from the worst financial crisis in decades.
Wen said since China began its currency reform to unpeg the yuan against the US dollar in July 2005, the yuan has appreciated 21 percent against the US dollar, or 16 percent in real terms.
Wen said China opposes accusations and even forceful measures that press for yuan appreciation, which will not benefit the exchange rate reform.
"A country's exchange rate policy and its exchange rates should depend on its national economy and economic situation," Wen said.
"We support free trade, which will keep the economy going and bring harmony and peace to people," he said.
Despite pressures on yuan appreciation, the premier said China will further improve the yuan exchange rate formation mechanism and keep the yuan exchange rates basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level.
Wen said a stable yuan has played an important role in facilitating the recovery of the global economy from the worst financial crisis in decades.
China, which overtook Germany as the world's biggest exporter at the end of 2009, is under increasing criticism for devaluating the renminbi, or its currency yuan, to earn artificial price advantages.
On March 11, US President Barack Obama pressed China to embrace a "market-oriented" exchange rate for yuan, saying the move is "an essential contribution to that global rebalancing effort."