US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew concluded his visit to Beijing on the evening of May 13, 2014. During his two days in the capital, he met Premier Li Keqiang, Vice-Premier Wang Yang and central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan.
Premier Li Keqiang received the treasury secretary at the Great Hall of the People. Economic issues were high on the agenda during Lew’s two-day visit to Beijing, who is here to prepare for the sixth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
“I understand you have already attended a series of events here to prepare for the dialogue. I believe the upcoming talks will yield new results, and it will benefit not only China and the US but also the world,” Premier Li Keqiang said.
Lew told the premier that the US is committed to further strengthening economic ties with China. He also said that right now, the US and global economy has vital interests in continued Chinese growth.
China’s economic growth slowed to a six-quarter low of 7.4 percent in the first quarter of the year; down from 7.7 percent in the final quarter of 2013. The Premier has previously said China will not resort to strong short-term stimulus policies just because of temporary economic fluctuations, but rather, will pay more attention to sound development in the medium and long run.
Lew has come with concerns too, especially regarding the pace of China’s market reforms and its currency exchange rate.
“It’s really important to demonstrate...exchange rate and policies are market oriented...” said US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.
The Chinese yuan has appreciated some 35 percent since 2005. But so far this year, it has depreciated 2.9 percent against the US dollar, causing some US concerns over government control of the currency. Chinese analysts have predicted the yuan is expected to stay roughly at the current level with fluctuations in a minor range in the rest of this year, appreciating in the long run.