Chinese PM to meet Obama next week | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 15, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 15, 2010

Chinese PM to meet Obama next week

China said yesterday that Premier Wen Jiabao would meet with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of a UN meeting in New York, as ties between the two countries improve after months of tensions.
"During the meetings, Premier Wen will meet with President Obama but we are still working on the specific timing of the meeting," assistant foreign minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters.
Wen will be in New York next week to attend both the annual UN General Assembly meeting and a special summit on the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Liu said Wen would attend more than 20 bilateral and multilateral meetings in his two days in New York, but did not elaborate on what other leaders he would meet.
Relations between China and the United States soured earlier this year over US arms sales to Taiwan and a meeting in February between Obama and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
The value of China's currency has also been a source of conflict, with critics in the United States and Europe claiming Beijing undervalues the yuan, giving Chinese exporters an unfair trade advantage.
China pledged in June to let the yuan trade more freely against the dollar, but US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has reiterated that he is still not satisfied with Beijing's moves to loosen its grip on the currency.
So far, it has appreciated about one percent against the greenback.
Geithner is scheduled to appear before US lawmakers this week to address the yuan issue.
Members of the US Congress have been pressing for legislation that would require the US Commerce Department to apply punitive sanctions against China and other countries with allegedly undervalued currencies.
Sino-US ties have nevertheless improved in the past few months following several high-level meetings between the two sides, including a visit to Beijing in May by Geithner and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Obama has invited Chinese President Hu Jintao to visit Washington in the near future, with a Pentagon official saying last week that the visit could come "early next year".

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