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    Trade with US to rise as strain eases

    Trump statement that Beijing does not manipulate its currency boosts ties

    China is willing to push forward the development of more balanced economic and trade ties with the United States, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to not label China as a currency manipulator.

    “We have no intention to stimulate exports by devaluing the currency, and there is no basis for a continuous devaluation of the renminbi,” ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular news conference.

    At the first meeting of President Xi Jinping and Trump in Florida last week, the two leaders had a “long and deep discussion” on the economic and trade issue. They reached an important consensus on making joint efforts to expand cooperation in all areas and properly handle disagreements, Lu said.

    “China, of course, is not a currency manipulator – that is an objective fact,” Lu said, adding that China would continue to press ahead with reforms of the procedure used to determine the RMB exchange rate.

    Lu was responding to Trump’s recent statement that his administration would not label China a currency manipulator and his complaint that the US dollar was too strong.

    In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Trump said “they (the Chinese) are not currency manipulators”.

    During his election campaign, Trump had accused China of manipulating its currency to unfairly gain from exports, but many economists have argued that the RMB has remained in equilibrium in recent years.

    In 2015, the International Monetary Fund said the RMB was not undervalued.

    Huang Songping, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs, responded to Trump’s remarks, saying on Thursday that China and the US have set a 100-day conversation process to discuss the bilateral trade issue.

    The two countries have become each other’s largest trade partner, which has benefited the people of both, he said, adding that trade between the two nations increased by 21.3 percent in the first quarter of this year.

    The enhanced communication between China and the United States is conducive to the healthy development of bilateral trade and investment, he said.

    Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said Trump’s remarks on the currency issue are positive.

    “The meeting between Xi and Trump in Florida has mapped out the blueprint for Sino-US relations, and the two countries will have more dialogues and more cooperation in the next step,” he said.

    Su Jian, an economics professor at Peking University, said Trump’s remarks showed that China and the US have reached consensus on the currency issue, given that China doesn’t want the RMB to devaluate, while the US doesn’t want a strong dollar.

    The previous devaluation trend of RMB is ending, he said, adding that the RMB exchange rate is likely to maintain stable in the coming months.

    Wang Yanfei contributed to the story

    anbaijie@chinadaily.com.cn