Geithner in China to discuss economic tensions



BEIJING (CNN) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met China's Vice-Premier Wang Qishan on Sunday and "exchanged views" about economic relations between their countries, both sides said.

The meeting came shortly after Geithner publicly hammered China over its currency, which Washington says Beijing keeps at artificially low levels to boost exports.

Geithner had urged the world's leading finance ministers to take strong action to ensure emerging markets nations allow their currency to rise in value in line with the free market.

The worry is that if such currency manipulation continues, it could wreak havoc on international trade.

He insisted that "countries that have traditionally run large trade and current account surpluses" -- which China has done -- needed to move "away from export dependence and toward stronger domestic demand led growth."

He said rich countries like the United States needed to play their part too by saving, investing and exporting more.

He was speaking at a meeting of finance ministers of the G-20 group of nations. Their two-day meeting wrapped up Saturday in Gyeongju, South Korea, with the ministers pledging not to engage in currency wars.

Geithner then flew on to China, where he met Wang at the Qingdao Airport.

They also discussed plans for the G-20 leaders meeting in Seoul, South Korea, next month, the Americans said.

In the G-20 finance ministers' closing statement, they said they would "move towards more market determined exchange rate systems that reflect underlying economic fundamentals and refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies."

The ministers added that the G-20 member nations would "continue to resist all forms of protectionist measures and seek to make significant progress to further reduce barriers to trade."

The G-20 stopped short of outright banning currency manipulation though.

The meeting was a precursor to the larger G-20 meeting taking place in Seoul on November 11 and 12. That summit will involve the heads of state from the G-20 nations. President Obama will attend.

Tensions about currency and trade are likely to be high at that meeting as well.

The G-20 acknowledged in Saturday's statement that the global economic recovery is currently advancing, but it was doing so in "a fragile and uneven way."

The ministers added that "growth has been strong in many emerging market economies, but the pace of activity remains modest in many advanced economies."

As further evidence of that, China announced earlier this week that its gross domestic product for the third-quarter rose at an annual rate of 9.6 percent.

While that's slower than in previous quarters, it is still far higher than the growth rates of the United States, Japan and nations in Europe.

China's central bank also announced earlier this week that it was raising a key interest rate for the first time in nearly three years.

That comes at a time when many expect the Federal Reserve to soon announce more details about how it intends to further ease its own monetary policies.

In a nod to the increased economic clout of China and other emerging markets, such as Brazil, India and Russia, the G-20 ministers also announced a deal Saturday that would give emerging markets countries more seats on the board of the International Monetary Fund.

-- CNN's Paul La Monica and Jo Kent contributed to this report. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.12%4.00%
15 yr fixed3.14%3.00%
5/1 ARM3.25%3.01%
30 yr refi4.17%4.06%
15 yr refi3.21%3.09%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,778.15 421.28 2.43%
Nasdaq 4,748.40 104.08 2.24%
S&P 500 2,061.23 48.34 2.40%
Treasuries 2.20 0.06 2.61%
Data as of 6:11am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.53 0.27 1.56%
Apple Inc 112.65 3.24 2.96%
Oracle Corp 45.35 4.19 10.18%
General Electric Co 25.14 0.71 2.91%
Microsoft Corp 47.52 1.78 3.89%
Data as of Dec 18

Sections

German chemicals company BASF has dropped a planned asset swap with Russia's Gazprom as Western sanctions bite. More

The shale boom has been a blessing to Texas, but tumbling oil prices are casting a shadow over the state. More

Portland's mayor says the city will create new rules, eventually allowing Uber to operate there. More

With two recent IPOs and a digitally-inclined audience of entrepreneurs, non-traditional financing could finally get its big break. More

Payday lenders are spending millions of dollars in Washington in an attempt to get powerful politicians on their side as a government crackdown on the industry heats up. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.