China: Don't play blame game over economic issues

June 22, 2010 8:56:59 AM PDT
BEIJING (AP) - China said world leaders should focus on overcoming economic difficulties together and not play the blame game at this weekend's summit of the Group of 20 leading economies, just days after Beijing announced greater flexibility for its currency.China's central bank loosened the yuan's peg to the dollar on Saturday. The yuan surged to a record high Monday before sliding back to about 6.82 to the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. Some analysts said the move was aimed mainly at countering criticism of China's tight control of its currency and was not a major shift in policy.

China's currency was expected to come up in discussions at the G-20 meeting in Toronto, which President Hu Jintao will attend. The U.S. and other trading partners accuse Beijing of keeping its yuan undervalued in a bid to help Chinese exporters.

"Under the current circumstances, all parties should display the spirit of tiding over difficulties together ... instead of playing the blame game, instead of imposing pressure," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

Saying the world economic recovery was still "vulnerable," Qin called for stepped-up communication and cooperation. He said any further changes to the exchange rate mechanism would be an independent decision by Chinese officials, though they planned to make further reforms.

China has said its exchange rate policy should not be a topic of discussion in Toronto because a single country's currency has never been on the agenda at any of the previous three G-20 summits. It also says its currency policy posed no obstacle to global economic growth.

Beijing allowed the yuan to increase in value from July 2005 until the summer of 2008 by about 20 percent but then abruptly halted the rise when the global economic downturn began amid concern that a stronger yuan would hurt its exports.

Last year, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled $226.9 billion.