Snow: Punitive bills on China 'ill-conceived'
Updated: 2005-10-17 16:13
U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Monday that he was convinced China
was committed to letting market forces drive the yuan's value but warned Beijing
had to show progress to hold off U.S. protectionist sentiment.
Speaking at a news conference after meeting Finance Minister Jin Renqing and
Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, Snow said both had given
assurances of Beijing's will to further liberalize the country's financial
markets and to make continued progress toward a more flexible yuan.
China revalued the yuan by 2.1 percent
in July and abandoned a peg against the dollar in favor of a managed float.
Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow,
Chinese Finance Minister Jin Renqing and People's Bank of China Governor
Zhou Xiaochuan talk before the opening ceremony of the 17th session of the
Sino-U.S. Joint Economic Committee meeting in Grand Epoch City in Xianghe,
about 100 km east of Beijing, October 16, 2005.
But since then, the yuan has risen by less than 0.3 percent and U.S.
law-makers are once again growing unhappy at what they call a seriously
Asked why he was confident that China would indeed let the currency range
more freely, Snow said: "Governor Zhou and Minister Jin reaffirmed this
fundamental commitment and reviewed with me a number of initiatives under way in
financial markets, particularly with respect to the trading platform ... that
are preparing the way for greater currency flexibility."
In a week-long visit to China, Snow has been trying to simultaneously show
Congress that Treasury is toughly pushing for currency reform while also
encouraging wary Chinese officials to press on with changes that U.S. officials
say will boost China's domestic demand and cut America's trade deficit.
Snow was bracketed at the press conference by Christopher Cox, chairman of
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Reuben Jeffery, chairman of the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The three were participating in meetings of the U.S.-China Joint Economic
Commission, where the United States is trying to get Beijing to adopt the
futures and options and other market mechanisms needed to support a floating