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China prudential in RMB exchange rates reform
Updated: 2004-04-30 11:10

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that China should be prudential on the method and timetable of the reform on Renminbi (RMB) exchange rates mechanism, noting that China has not given up the reform.

Two directions will be followed in the reform, keeping the RMB exchange rates basically stable at a balanced, reasonable level and exploring a market-based exchange rates mechanism, Wen said this week during an interview with Geert Linnebank, editor-in-chief of the Reuters News Agency.

The reform will be based on the situations of the macro-economy and the banking system, he said, noting that some unexpected results might otherwise be possible.

China will listen to suggestions and advice from various sources on this "complex" issue, so as to guarantee the stability of the regional and world economy, said the premier.

"RMB exchange rate has never been frozen," said Wen in response to Linnebank's remark that RMB exchange rates were believed to be frozen by some people.

China follows a market-based, single and managed floating exchange rate system since 1994, Wen said. RMB appreciated 38 percent against US dollars between 1994 to 1997.

When the Asian financial crisis struck in 1997, China insisted that its currency not devalue and kept the RMB exchange rate stable in a responsible manner, and narrowed the floating scope of the RMB exchange rate since then, Wen said.

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