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Geithner, Wang Discuss US-China Economic Ties

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (file photo)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishen have met in eastern China to discuss economic relations that have been strained by a currency dispute.

Geithner and Wang held brief talks Sunday in the city of Qingdao, where the U.S. official made a stop-over after attending a Group of 20 finance ministers meeting in South Korea.

The U.S. and Chinese governments say Geithner and Wang discussed economic relations and preparations for a G20 summit in Seoul next month. They gave no other details.

The United States has been pressuring China to allow the yuan to strengthen more quickly in response to market forces.

U.S. lawmakers and businesses say Beijing keeps its currency artificially weak, giving Chinese exporters an advantage and driving up the U.S. trade deficit with China. Beijing says it prefers a gradual approach to strengthening the yuan.

Geithner said Saturday he believes China is making an effort to move toward a market-determined exchange rate system based on economic fundamentals. He was speaking at the end of the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Gyeongju, South Korea.

Delegates at that meeting of the world's key economies voted to give China and other major developing nations a bigger role in managing the International Monetary Fund. The G20 members also pledged to refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies to avoid possible trade wars.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.