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Minister: China likely to see trade deficit

A bank worker arranges stacks of 100-yuan notes in Suining in southwest China's Sichuan province on Saturday.
A bank worker arranges stacks of 100-yuan notes in Suining in southwest China's Sichuan province on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Report: Trade surplus fell by 50.4 percent during first two months of this year
  • Yuan's role in trade balance is limited, commerce minister says
  • Trade protectionism "might lead to double dip of the global economy," he adds
RELATED TOPICS
  • China
  • Beijing
  • Economic Issues

Beijing, China (CNN) -- China is likely to see a trade deficit in March, the country's commerce minister said in Beijing Sunday.

The dip in red will reverse a months-long trend for China's trade balance that had seen an uptick for most of the mid- to late-2000s.

But during the first two months of this year, the trade surplus fell by 50.4 percent, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs, the China Daily newspaper reported.

Internationally, China is under growing pressure -- especially from the United States -- to appreciate the value of the yuan.

Such calls are "irrational," said Commerce Minister Chen Deming Sunday. The yuan's role in trade balance is limited, he said.

Instead, Chen asked nations to loosen the restriction on the import of products.

Trade protectionism "might lead to double dip of the global economy," he said.

Chen's remarks were made at the China Development Forum 2010 and reported in state-run media.

His comments were in line with those made last week by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao who said China would resist calls to appreciate the yuan and keep its currency "basically stable."

Wen also urged the United States and the European Union to lift restrictions on exports of certain technology to China.