BEIJING, Oct. 6-- US Treasury Secretary John Snow, pictured September 2005, will be in Asia next week for high-level talks in Japan and China including a meeting of the Group of 20 nations, the Treasury said.[AFP/file photo]US Treasury Secretary John Snow will be in Asia next week for high-level talks in Japan and China including a meeting of the Group of 20 nations, the US Treasury said.
Snow's week-long tour will start in Tokyo next Monday and Tuesday where he will hold talks with Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki on Japan's nascent economic recovery as well as regional economic issues.
Snow will then travel to Shanghai for three days to meet senior Asian and US banking leaders based in the region. He will also visit the stock exchange and a new office for foreign exchange trading in China's financial hub.
The US Treasury chief plans to witness the progress of China's economic reforms away from its booming coastal cities during a visit to the inland city of Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern Sichuan Province, before returning to Beijing for the G20.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 club of major developing economies and rich nations are to hold talks on October 15-16 in Xianghe County, some 50 kilometres east of the Chinese capital.
The G20 meeting is expected to be joined by US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is scheduled to travel with Snow back to Beijing on October 16 for the annual talks of the Sino-US Joint Economic Commission.
Also attending the high-powered meeting on the US side will be Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox and Reuben Jeffery, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The US Treasury Department on Monday named David Loevinger as permanent financial attache to China a new, Beijing-based position meant to encourage close ties on economic issues including foreign exchange.
US Treasury spokesman Tony Fratto said the new post reflected"a different phase in our economic relationship with China," and said Loevinger would work with Chinese officials to ensure a new trading mechanism for the renminbi worked well.
"China has made a reform to its exchange rate mechanism that was an important step. We still want to see greater currency flexibility in the region," Fratto said.
"The next step is that the mechanism be allowed to work and reflect market supply and demand. We think David Loevinger is uniquely qualified to have discussions at that technical level with economic officials in China and economic officials elsewhere in Asia," he added.
The US Treasury also has permanent financial attaches in Buenos Aires, Tokyo and Brussels. Fratto said the new position was distinct from that vacated by Olin Wethington, who resigned as the US Treasury's special envoy to China last week to return to private life.
"We think it's time to have someone permanently based in Beijing for regular communications," Fratto said, adding there were no plans to name a new envoy to replace Wethington.
Loevinger, currently the US Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for Africa, the Middle East and Asia, will assume the new role immediately and work from the US Embassy in Beijing from early next year, Fratto said.
(Source: China Daily)