Sep 23, 2010 8:16 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

China seeks to play down differences with US

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is expressing optimism that the United States and China will resolve major trade frictions. But he's rejecting U.S. claims that Beijing's currency policies cost American jobs.

Wen used much of a speech on the sidelines of a United Nations global summit to try to ease U.S. anger against China ahead of a Thursday meeting with President Barack Obama. Wen sought to play down recent economic, military and diplomatic tensions.

He told business leaders that the U.S. and China are "not rivals in competition but partners in cooperation." But the Chinese leader also pushed back against U.S. claims that Beijing's tightly regulated, undervalued currency - the yuan - gives China's exporters an artificial advantage over U.S. manufacturers. Some U.S. lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would punish China if it doesn't do more to let the yuan rise.

But Wen warned that China's currency must not be turned into a political issue between the countries.


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