US delays yuan report "to prevent showdown"

12:27, April 05, 2010      

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US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner looks at a screen referring to Recovery Act tax cuts at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, March 22, 2010. (Photo: Chinadaily/Agencies)

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Saturday he was delaying an April 15 report on whether China manipulates its currency, amid growing debate on the revaluation of the yuan.

"A move by China to a more market-oriented exchange rate will make an essential contribution to global rebalancing," Geithner said in a statement.

He also pledged to press for a more flexible Chinese currency policy, following renewed US calls for China to revalue the yuan.

A number of Chinese analysts have said that a sharp revaluation of the yuan will dent China's growth by making its exports more expensive.

But the country may start revaluing its currency as early as the second half of the year, with the move not "yielding to US pressure, but seeing to China's own needs", Jin Canrong, a leading US studies expert at the Renmin University of China, said on Sunday.

Still, Geithner said he will use upcoming meetings of the Group of 20 and a US-China economic summit in Beijing in May to try to advance the US position.

"I believe these meetings are the best avenue for advancing US interests at this time," Geithner said in a statement issued at midday on the Easter holiday weekend. The US Treasury gave no indication of when it will release the report.

The US Business and Industry Council, a trade group, said the administration will apparently delay the release of the report until after the G20 summit meeting in June.

The latest US decision to delay the report came as President Hu Jintao is scheduled to visit Washington next week to attend a nuclear security summit after both sides strived to patch up strained ties over Taiwan, Tibet and trade.

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