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China, US pledge to further deepen economic ties

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BEIJING: Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang on Tuesday held talks with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in Beijing, discussing a full-range of economic issues.In a four-hour meeting, Wang said the world economy has shown momentum of a recovery, but it still has a long way to go to achieve robust, sustained and balanced growth globally.He said China’s economy has remained steady since the beginning of the year.China has paid more attention to realizing medium-to-long term healthy development through restructuring the economy and deepening reform, he said. As two major economies, China and the United States have worked closely to maintain the positive momentum of their economic cooperation, he said.This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the China-US diplomatic relationship, and the two sides will hold the sixth China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) in July, said Wang. He voiced hope that the two sides will further implement the important consensus reached by both leaders through the SED and try to achieve more tangible results. The US welcomes the sound development of China’s economy, said Lew, adding that the steady growth of China’s economy benefits the US, while the US recovery also benefits China.The US is committed to strengthening economic cooperation with China and is willing to work with China to build a more open, balanced economic relationship, said Lew.He said the US government has made it a policy priority to implement the long-delayed quota reform plan of the International Monetary Fund(IMF), which was agreed in 2010. The reforms would double the Fund’s resources and hand more IMF voting powers to countries like the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.The US supports China to hold the 22nd informal leaders’ meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), said the US Treasury Secretary.The two sides also exchanged views on each other’s domestic economic policies, bilateral investment treaty negotiations, as well as regional and global trade issues.On Tuesday afternoon, Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao chaired a news briefing on Lew’s visit, focusing on the upcoming China-US SED, the exchange rate of the Chinese currency renminbi (RMB), or the yuan, China-US economic relations, and the future development of China’s economy.On the SED, Zhu said the two sides have maintained close communication and are making preparations for the dialogue.Reform on the RMB’s exchange rate is among the issues of US concern, he said.The yuan’s value has come under the spotlight as its exchange rate against the US dollar declined about 3.5 percent in the first four months of the year, a period in which the country also saw a shrinking trade surplus.In China’s foreign exchange spot market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day.Zhu said the two-way movements of the RMB were the results of market supply and demand, adding that one-way fluctuation of the RMB exchange rate only creates opportunities for speculation.China’s determination to reform the RMB exchange rate formation mechanism is unswerving, he said, noting that the issue will be further discussed during the SED.He said China will be paying close attention to the US exit of its quantitative easing policy (QE) and the impact on the US and world economy when the QE ends in October.US economic growth stalled in the first quarter, growing at merely a 0.1 percent annual rate. The Fed chief blamed the weakness largely on the unusually cold weather.Zhu said China welcomes a distinct recovery of the US economy in the second quarter and hopes that the US will achieve a growth of 2.8 to 3 percent for the year, which is important not only for the US, but also for China and the world.Bilateral trade volume reached 520 billion US dollars and mutual investment exceeded 100 billion US dollars in 2013. China also holds a substantial chunk of US sovereign debt.Bilateral economic relations have become increasingly inseparable, which have profound influence on consumers of both countries, said the vice finance minister. 

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