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Currency claims untrue, says bank

THE People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, yesterday rejected allegations by a US Treasury official that China was manipulating the exchange rates of its currency, saying the statement was untrue and misleading.

Su Ning, vice governor of the central bank, said that the allegation could sidetrack efforts to track the real cause of the financial crisis.

"President Obama - backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists - believes China is manipulating its currency," the US Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner wrote to the Senate Finance Committee in documents released on Thursday.

Su responded yesterday, saying: "We should avoid any excuse that might lead to the revitalization of trade protectionism. It will do no good to the fight against the crisis, nor will it help the healthy and stable development of the global economy."

Yi Xianrong, a financial researcher with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said if the United States labeled China as a "currency manipulator," it would hurt the concerted efforts to fighting the global financial crisis. It would also hamper global efforts to shake off an economic slowdown, as the Sino-US economic alliance had become one of the world's most important bilateral economic ties, Yi said.

According to China customs statistics, Sino-US trade hit US$333.74 billion last year, up 10.5 percent year on year. With a 9-percent growth rate, China contributed more than 20 percent of global economic growth in 2008, while the United States remained the world's largest economy, Yi said.


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