China: US can't decide if a country is manipulating currency

Last Updated: Thu, May 30, 2019 15:31 hrs
China

Beijing: China said on Wednesday that Washington was not in a position to decide if a country was manipulating its currency after the US Treasury Department kept China in a monitoring list of economies over their currency exchange rate practices.

Addressing a press conference Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said: "The conclusion that China is not a currency manipulator is in line with basic common sense and the consensus of the international community.

"We hope the US will respect the law of the market and the objective facts to not politicize the currency issue."

Lu said competent international organizations should decide if a country is manipulating its currency and cautioned the US against carrying out unilateral evaluations in this regard, Efe news reported.

"China will continue to deepen the reform of its exchange rate, improve a market-based and regulated floating exchange rate system and keep the currency exchange rate basically stable at a reasonable level," added the spokesperson.

The US government said that it continued to have significant concerns regarding China undervaluing its currency with respect to the US dollar, allowing it to reap $419 billion in trade surplus in 2018.

This situation has been a point of contention between the two countries since current US President Donald Trump took charge in January 2017.

For around a year, the US and China have been engaged in a trade war, which escalated in early May when Washington increased tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on more than 5,000 Chinese import products valued at $200 billion per year.

Trump has also threatened to impose similar tariffs on the rest of China's exports to the US, valued at some $325 billion, if Beijing proves unwilling to strike a trade deal.

In retaliation, China is planning to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on $60 billion worth of US imports from June 1.