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US denies report for sanctions deal with Beijing

2010-04-06 07:50

BEIJING - The White House on Sunday denied speculation that the US delayed a report on China's currency policy in exchange for support on fresh sanctions against Iran.

US President Barack Obama's adviser on economic issues Lawrence Summers told ABC TV that the postponement of the report was "part of the US' international economic dialogue", even as he denied speculation that the delay was aimed at eliciting China's cooperation on sanctions against Iran.

The report to Congress, which is likely to label China an exchange rate manipulator, was due April 15 but will reportedly be delayed.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Saturday that several high-level international meetings in the coming months would be a better way to advance the US position on exchange rates.

"Although China has now slightly softened its stand and is willing to talk on the sanction issue, it does not necessarily mean the nation now agrees on the need for sanctions," said Shi Yinhong, an expert on American studies at the Renmin University.

China has for months fended off Western calls to back further UN Security Council sanctions on Iran

In moves last week Beijing announced President Hu Jintao would attend the April 12-13 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. Iran said on Sunday it would host a two-day nuclear disarmament conference to start April 17th, shortly after the Washington nuclear summit, aiming to disarm and prevent proliferation.

China is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, each wielding the power to veto any resolution and thus block proposed UN sanctions.

Linda Jakobson, global security analyst at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) China, told news channel CNN: "I don't think China is going to easily, or in any short time, agree to sanctions. It goes against the grain of China's foreign policy." China's position has always been to use diplomacy and dialogue, not sanctions, to resolve the standoff.

China's special envoy to the Middle East, Wu Sike, told China Daily earlier: "We don't just focus on oil in our Iran policy. It's a very one-sided view to say China is doing this or that because of oil, though our oil cooperation with Iran is very important."

"We consider the (Iran nuclear) issue as part of the whole picture of Chinese diplomacy," he added.

Agencies contributed to the story.

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