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Wen upbeat on US relations despite strains

[ 2010-03-23 11:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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China is likely to run a trade deficit of more than $8 billion in March, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday, while rejecting US accusations that the country undervalues its currency to seek a surplus.

Wen also said China will buy more US goods to balance trade, and expects problems with Washington to be addressed in May during a strategic dialogue.

The deficit in March will be the first since May 2004.

"To be honest, I was happy when I learnt of the situation (the projected deficit)," Wen said when meeting delegates to the China Development Forum at the Great Hall of the People. Chinese ministers, heads of foreign companies and economists attended the meeting.

"China is by no means seeking a trade surplus. On the contrary, we have left no stone unturned in expanding imports to achieve a trade balance."

Some US legislators have been demanding the Barack Obama administration label China a currency manipulator in a US Treasury report due out in mid-April.

They argue that China's "undervalued" currency has led to the rising US trade deficit and increasing unemployment. The declaration will make it possible for Washington to slap duties on Chinese imports.

Wen acknowledged US worries.

"I know there is an unemployed population of 2 million in the US, which makes the government very anxious. But in China, we have 200 million people without jobs, and a huge gap between urban and rural areas," he said.

The registered jobless rate in cities and towns was 4 percent last year, but an Academy of Social Sciences report put the figure at 9.4 percent. This, along with the number of surplus laborers in the countryside, amounts to 200 million people.

Wen urged countries to refrain from fighting a trade or currency war.


1: What is China’s trade deficit predicted to be in March?

2: How many people are unemployed in the US?

3: How many people are unemployed in the China?


1: $8 billion.

2: 2 Million.

3: 200 million.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Wen upbeat on US relations despite strains

About the broadcaster:

Wen upbeat on US relations despite strains

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.