Beijing: China’s Premier Wen Jiabao blasted trade protectionism by his nation’s trading partners on Sunday and vowed not to yield to pressure to allow the Chinese yuan to appreciate.
In an Internet interview with the official Xinhua news agency, Wen said his government would continue next year to implement macroeconomic policies aimed at stimulating growth and fighting the global financial crisis.
“The pressure on the yuan to appreciate is bigger and bigger... We have been getting this and that kind of pressure to appreciate, but we refuse to yield,” Wen said in the webcast.
“I told foreign friends, I said, ‘you are asking for us to allow the yuan to appreciate, while at the same time adopting all kinds of trade protectionism, actually you are trying to restrain China’s development’.”
Hard talk: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Bob Strong / Reuters
The value of the Chinese currency, which has effectively been pegged to the US dollar since mid-2008, has been a bone of contention between Beijing and its Western trading partners, which say it is kept low to boost exports.
“This could be a big issue facing us next year in our economic work,” Wen said.
But he added: “I believe this year as major currencies around the world devaluated, that maintaining the value and stability of the yuan was a contribution to the international community.”
He also lambasted a series of World Trade Organization disputes that have been filed against China this year, saying there were more such actions taken in 2009 than ever before.
“They are using every kind of trade obstacle, which is really placing a lot of pressure on China’s overseas oriented industries, especially exports,” Wen said without naming nations.
Meanwhile, China would continue to pump prime the economy in 2010 after last year’s four-trillion-yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package and policy efforts to boost domestic spending during the global slump, he said.
“After a year of efforts by the people of our nation, we have stabilized the economy, stabilized employment and maintained social tranquility,” he said. “But the financial crisis is not over, there is still a lot of work to be done...ending our economic stimulus policies too early could spoil all that has been achieved and even worsen the situation.”