Chinese Premier rejects currency devaluation allegations

The policy is the "political foundation of China-US relations", the premier said.

Beijing has downplayed the possible fallout from Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi saying the challenges facing the continent are a chance to make the EU stronger.

European Council President Donald Tusk in February warned that, in the wake of Brexit and with growing nationalism, the EU faced the biggest challenges in its 60-year history, compounded by an assertive China, an aggressive Russian Federation and worrying declarations from U.S. President Donald Trump.

BEIJING-China doesn't want a trade war with the U.S., Premier Li Keqiang said, describing himself as optimistic about the countries' relationship.

Li, at his one news conference of the year, acknowledged that there are internal and external risks to China's economy, but added that talk of a sharp slowdown should stop.

China does not hope to be involved in any trade war either, because that is not good for the stability of the worldwide trade and currency systems, Li added.

"China hopes that, no matter what bumps this relationship may run into, it will continue to forge in the right direction".

Trump launched a constant volley of complaints against China on the campaign trail, denouncing it for stealing American jobs, manipulating its currency, militarizing the South China Sea and not doing enough to rein in North Korea's nuclear program.

If Trump fulfils his threat to call Beijing a currency manipulator it could lead to trade sanctions. Beijing lowered its economic growth target for 2017 to about 6.5%, from last year's range of 6.5% to 7%.

"We may have different statistical methods, but I believe whatever differences we may have, we can always sit down and talk to each other, and work together to reach consensus", Li said. But a trade war would also hurt China, because the Chinese economy is heavily dependent on the USA export market for jobs.

Li said China has no intention of weakening its currency to boost exports.

At his press conference, Li pledged that China would continue to open up its economy and argued that American companies and others were already seeing benefits.

Li gave reassurance that China would strive to contribute to the stability of the foreign currency exchange market by maintaining RMB rates at an equillibrium within the widening floating band of Yuan.

  • Zachary Reyes