News / Asia

China, US to Discuss Iran, Trade Imbalance

TEXT SIZE - +

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on a two-day visit to China, where he is expected to discuss U.S. sanctions against Iran and the huge imbalance in China-U.S. trade. 

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan is hosting Geithner for a dinner in Beijing Tuesday, followed by a day of meetings with Chinese officials on Wednesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin says the two sides will exchange views on economic relations as well as the global financial landscape.

He says the two countries agree on establishing a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.  He adds that Sino-American cooperation is needed to tackle what he describes as “grave” global economic challenges.

Geithner's visit comes as China released trade figures Tuesday that show its overall trade surplus shrank more than 14 percent - from $183 billion in 2010 to $155 billion in 2011.

China has been accused of purposely keeping the value of its currency low to help its exports. But Hong Kong University visiting public administration professor Alejandro Reyes says China's shrinking trade deficit may help weaken the arguments of critics in the United States who urge Beijing to revalue its currency.

“The administration has resisted naming China as a currency manipulator and there are signs, although there is a lot of rhetoric about trade surplus, a little 'bit of the wind in the sails' of the argument against China has come down because the trade surplus itself has come down,” Reyes said.

Another issue in Geithner's talks is America's efforts to persuade other countries to support sanctions targeting Iran's oil profits.  The United States and European Union believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and they have been tightening sanctions in a bid to stop its suspect activities.  Tehran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes.

China did not veto United Nations sanctions against Iran, but has expressed its opposition to the much tougher U.S. sanctions.  Beijing says domestic laws should not over-ride international laws, in the form of already existing U.N. sanctions against Iran.

Reyes says China does not want to be seen as being pushed to do something by the United States, and would rather play some kind of behind-the-scenes role.

“How much leverage they [China] have is a good question, but it is an important question," Reyes said. "But I can see where if the United States plays this card, the Iran card, plays it hard and the European Union is also there, that China could sort of stiffen its resolve and there could be kind of bad blood that emerges from that.”

Although China is Iran's top oil customer, there are reports that it has already reduced its purchases of Iranian crude in the past month because of a dispute over prices.

Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is leaving Beijing Saturday for a trip to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - three key oil and gas suppliers.  The Chinese leader also is set to attend the Fifth World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi next week.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid