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China to discuss currency policy with G-7 nations
Updated: 2004-09-24 10:10

China will participate in a special meeting with the Group of Seven industrialized countries on October 1.

The U.S. Treasury said this could herald China's eventual membership in the elite economic group.

John B. Taylor, the undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs, said one major purpose of the meeting will be "high-level engagement" with China on its currency policy, which has become a politically charged issue in the United States.

China's longtime policy of fixing its exchange rate at 8.3 yuan per dollar is viewed by many economists, manufacturers and labor groups as giving Chinese products an unfair price advantage in world markets.

Calling the meeting "a historic first engagement," Taylor said it will be held over dinner in Washington after a regular session of top G-7 policymakers on global economic issues.

Chinese finance minister, Jin Renqing and governor of the People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochun will join their counterparts including Treasury Secretary John W. Snow and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan has confirmed the news in Beijing. He said to keep contact with G 8 is in the interest of both sides as well as the world peace and stability. China is willing to participate in such meetings.

G-7 was launched in 1975 with five members -- the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany and France -- in response to the world oil-price shock. Italy and Canada joined later.

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