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EU says to keep pressing China over yuan

By: | at 08:00 PM | International Trade  

The European Union will keep pressing China to revalue the yuan even though Beijing may not respond to foreign pressure, European Commission officials said.

“They are undervalued ... that is true,” European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told a news briefing, one day after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told the EU to stop putting pressure on Beijing over the value of the yuan.

But De Gucht added: “It is not by pressure from outside that the Chinese are going to revalue their currency.”

A spokesman for the European Commission, the EU executive, said the bloc would continue sending the message that the euro is carrying an excessive burden because of global economic imbalances.

“We will continue to say this very clearly to the Chinese but also to the Americans,” spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told a regular briefing.

“We think that there is a widespread consensus that China’s currency is still significantly undervalued.”

He said European leaders had made their point clearly to Wen during his visit to Europe this week.

“We consider that the euro is bearing a disproportionate burden in the adjustment of global exchange rates,” Altafaj said.

The Chinese leader said a rapid shift in the value of the yuan could unleash social turmoil.

Wen told an EU-China business forum in Brussels that China would implement a reform of its currency regime announced in June, making the exchange rate more flexible, but rebuffed calls from EU leaders for a rapid and substantial appreciation.

The United States and the 27-country EU accuse China of keeping its currency artificially weak to promote exports, undermining jobs and economic growth in the West. (Reuters)