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Wen criticizes U.S. protectionism

2010-03-15 09:07 BJT

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Special Report: 2010 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

Premier Wen Jiabao has criticized US for its trade protectionism and wants a market economy status from the world's biggest economy. He also has concerns about China's dollar assets, calling on Washington to keep its credit.

Premier Wen Jiabao has criticized US for its trade protectionism and wants a market economy status from the world's biggest economy.
Premier Wen Jiabao has criticized US for its trade protectionism and wants a market
 economy status from the world's biggest economy.

Facing hundreds of journalists from the world, Premier Wen Jiabao said China is a strong supporter of free trade. He says some countries engage in protectionism in order to promote their exports, in reference America's policy on the dollar.

Wen Jiabao, Chinese Premier, said, "What I don't understand is depreciating one's own currency and pressing other countries to appreciate their currencies for the sole purpose of increasing their trade. In my opinion, this is trade protectionism."

Premier Wen reminded reporters that 50 percent of China's trade is processing trade and 60 percent of exports are overseas-invested enterprises or joint ventures. Limiting trade from China would hurt overseas companies in China.

In response to a question from the Wall Street Journal about concerns that China's foreign business environment is not as friendly as before -- citing Google and Rio Tinto's cases -- the Premier noted the country continues to attract a large influx of foreign direct investment, and is vowing to treat overseas businesses as the equal of local firms.

In a candid admission that the current administration has not built strong relationships with foreign businesses, Wen pledged to meet more investors.

Premier Wen said, "I must say I am still not very closely in touch with foreign businessmen in China. In the next three years I will create more opportunities to meet foreign businessmen and listen to their views."

In response to a Reuters reporter's question about China's dollar assets, the Premier said he is still not very confident.

Wen also said, "Our financial assets are of great importance to the country and cannot bear risks. The US treasury is backed by American national credit. I hope the US government eases the worries of its investors with real action."

Premier Wen Jiabao also said there are some security issues in the world. China seeks to cooperate with the international community to bolster a fair and stable economic order in the world.