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China Brushes Off US Criticism of Currency Reforms

China says it will stick with its currency-reform plans, despite complaints by Washington that the Chinese yuan is not rising fast enough against the dollar.

China ended its fixed exchange-rate link with the U.S. dollar 10 months ago, in an attempt to ease widespread concerns that the yuan was undervalued. Since then, Beijing has allowed the currency's value to rise slowly, by about three percent.

However, the VOA economics correspondent says, many experts feel the yuan must rise 20 to 30 percent in order to correct China's huge trade surplus with the United States and the rest of the world.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing Thursday says China is moving forward with currency reforms, but the pace of change will continue to be set by the country's overall economic development.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, sharply criticized China's handling of the currency issue Wednesday, saying Beijing's lack of progress is extremely disappointing.

A twice-yearly Treasury report on global exchange rates says China's inflexible exchange rates are fostering dangerous trade imbalances, but it adds there is no evidence that China is trying to manipulate currency markets.