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Chinese Prime Minister: China Will Not be Pressured to Revalue Currency


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, right, shakes hands with Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki during a meeting in Tianjin, China
China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao says his country rejects outside pressure to revalue its currency, the yuan, repeating assertions that revaluation must be done gradually and when conditions are right.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao stuck to Beijing's stance that it may eventually move to reform its currency, but only when the government determines that doing so will not hurt the country's fragile banking sector and the economies of its Asian trading partners.

He spoke Sunday at a meeting of European and Asian finance ministers in the port city of Tianjin.

Mr. Wen says such reform would have far-reaching impact and requires a great deal of preparation for all sides to be able to handle the effects of a revaluation. The prime minister says such a responsible attitude would contribute to stability and development in China and elsewhere.

Mr. Wen's remarks came a day after Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said that moving toward rapid currency reform would be in China's interest.

China has been under heavy pressure from the United States, where some blame the peg of 8.2 yuan to $1 for the ballooning trade deficit with China.

Some U.S. politicians, manufacturers, and labor groups allege the peg, which has been in place for a decade, makes Chinese products artificially cheap and causes the United States to lose jobs.

This month, Alan Greenspan, the head of the U.S. central bank, told central bankers meeting in Beijing that he expected China would move to a more flexible currency exchange regime "reasonably soon," saying it would be to China's advantage to do so.

However, Mr. Greenspan has said he does not expect a revaluation of the yuan to have any significant effect on the trade deficit between China and the United States.