Beijing is signaling it will not give in to U.S. pressure to allow the value of China's currency to rise.
Chinese media quoted Premier Wen Jiabao Saturday as saying Beijing favors "a basically stable exchange rate'' in order to protect Chinese exporters.
The Chinese leader has been attending an import and export fair in the southern city of Guangzhou. Chinese media said he called for increased efforts to combat a rise in protectionism that has hurt global trade.
The United States has long accused China of manipulating its currency, making the yuan cheaper, in order to make its exports less expensive than similar products made in the U.S.
During an economic speech Friday in New York, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized China for what she described as efforts to "game" the global trading system. She said China's actions are hurting not just the U.S., but economies around the world as well.
U.S. President Barack Obama has also accused China of "gaming" the global trading system.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation earlier this week threatening higher tariffs against China if the currency imbalance continues.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.