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China:  Currency Not to Blame for Trade Imbalances

China is once again rejecting calls from the United States to strengthen the value of its currency, the yuan.

Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian warned the United States not to "politicize" the value of the yuan, saying it could affect bilateral cooperation in tackling the global economic slowdown.

U.S. officials accuse Beijing of keeping the yuan, artificially low against the U.S. dollar to make Chinese products cheaper on the global market.

In a major trade speech last week, President Barack Obama urged Beijing to embrace a more "market oriented" exchange rate for China's yuan to help rebalance the global economy.

A bipartisan group of 130 U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to Obama administration officials Monday, urging them to take action against what they called China's currency "manipulation."

The lawmakers are calling on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to demand action against Beijing's yuan policy in a report due next month. China has effectively pegged the yuan to the U.S. dollar since mid-2008 to help domestic exporters survive the global economic recession.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.