China pledges currency reforms, no timeframe


China on Monday agreed to undertake currency reforms as it commenced a high level dialogue with the US but insisted that it will decide on the timeframe as it pushed for an end to American curbs on transfer of hi-tech exports.
Hinting at the removal of the key irritant in their bilateral ties, President Hu Jintao gave the assurance at the start of the two-day Sino-US high-level talks on financial market reforms, trade and reviving global growth.
“China will continue to steadily advance the reform of the formation of exchange rate mechanism under the principle of independent decision-making, controllability and gradual progress,” Mr Hu said at the inauguration of the dialogue where secretary of state Hillary Clinton and treasury secretary Timothy Geithner were present at Beijing’s Great Hall of People.
Mr Hu’s assurance comes as Washington has accused Beijing of keeping the Yuan frozen against the dollar since 2008 saying that this was aimed at boosting Chinese exports and distorted trade.
But the assurance by the Chinese President failed to evoke excitement in US and European markets as analysts believe that action by Beijing will be slow and timed with western economies getting out of debt crisis.
In another high level session between Mr Geithner and vice-premier Wang Qishan, the Chinese pressed for export controls on “dual use technology”, which can have military applications.
The Chinese vice-premier asked Washington to come out with a timetable to overhaul its export controls on high technology specially green technology. He said Beijing was pleased to hear about the US initiatives to ease restrictions on such exports.

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