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US Envoy Urges China to End Barriers to Pollution Technologies


U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has urged Beijing to scrap barriers on imports of pollution-reducing technology. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing the secretary praised China's appreciating its currency, but said it should continue.

Secretary Paulson said high tariffs and other trade barriers are preventing the latest anti-pollution products from entering China.

He praised China's energy and emission reduction goals, but said high technology is needed for China's severely polluted air and water. He noted that China is home to 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities, and is to surpass the United States as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Speaking at China's Academy of Sciences, Paulson said the technology would improve the health and well being of the Chinese people.

"There is something that does not seem economically sensible, and does not seem morally right to, to not be using clean technologies and charging a tariff on them," he said. "So, I think that is one area where we can all work together."

Chinese officials have argued Washington's restrictions are the problem. The United States limits exports of technology believed to have a dual military use.

Paulson met with China's President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao during two-days of meetings. They discussed closer U.S.-China cooperation on energy conservation and an upcoming round of bilateral trade and economic talks.

The United States is hosting a fourth round of the twice a year Strategic Economic Dialogue in June.

Paulson said it is important that the two countries increase cooperation to target problems they are both facing.

"Long-term structural challenges confront both of our economies," he said. "For the United States the challenge is to save more and spend less, for China the challenge is to save less and consume more."

He welcomed China's letting its currency, the yuan, rise in value and said it should continue.

The yuan has increased in value by 18 percent since Beijing ended its fixed exchange rate with the dollar in 2005. The currency is four percent higher against the dollar this year.

The yuan is believed by many economists to be undervalued. Washington partly blames the exchange rate for its record trade deficit with China.