US Treasury’s Geithner to visit China March 31

Editor’s Note: Finalizing plans for a global currency perhaps? 

US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner
© AFP/Getty Images/File Alex Wong


WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will visit China next week, joining a group of G20 officials to discuss the global monetary system, the Treasury said Friday.

Geithner will attend finance ministers, central bankers and other officials from the Group of 20 in the eastern city of Nanjing, as debate rages about global economic imbalances, caused in part by China’s rise.

The group will “discuss reforms to the international monetary system and the importance of the G20 maintaining its focus on supporting a sustainable global recovery,” the Treasury said.

Chinese officials have already declared the vexed topic of the yuan’s alleged undervaluation — a hot issue between Washington and Beijing — will not be up for discussion.

“The renminbi exchange rate is not on the agenda,” Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters on March 15, using China’s official name for its currency.

The issue has been a major sticking point between Washington and Beijing, with US officials blaming it in part for the the United States’ $273 billion trade deficit with China last year.

Geithner will also meet his Chinese counterparts to “discuss the global outlook and the economic relationship between the two countries in advance of the 2011 US-China strategic and economic dialogue.”

Earlier this month Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan reiterated that policymakers would stick to a “gradual approach in exchange rate reform”.

Beijing believes a sudden adjustment in the value of the currency would hurt the country’s vast manufacturing sector, potentially triggering the loss of millions of jobs and causing social unrest.

The thinly-traded yuan has weakened slightly in the past month, moving from 6.58 to the dollar at the end of February to around 6.56 on Friday.

In the first half of 2010 it was trading at around 6.83.

© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license

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