China urged Washington to lift export and investment controls directed toward it on Monday, saying that could go a long way to conquering the two countries’ steep trade imbalance. But in their annual bilateral dialogue, US officials continued to press Beijing on its allegedly undervalued yuan, as a way to redress China’s $273 billion trade surplus with the United States. “The way to resolve this imbalance is to ease the export control regime of the United States towards China and to encourage US exports to China rather than restricting Chinese exports to the United States,” Chen Deming, the Chinese trade minister, told reporters.
Chen said that Washington’s forex argument over the trade issue between the world’s two largest economies “is not founded.” Over the past three years, he said, China’s overall trade surplus has continued to decline and fell to about $180 billion, or 3.1 percent of gross domestic product.
By international standards, that is “a very healthy share,” he said. “We have a balanced trade with all other countries except the United States,” he added. Earlier US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner opened the two-day US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington by placing China’s need for a more flexible exchange rate and more open capital markets tops on a list of things to discuss. He also listed China’s need for banking reforms to boost that country’s private sector, and the need for “a more level playing field” in trade and investment between the two economic superpowers.