Don't ask too much of emerging economies, says China's Hu

Hu Jintao also reiterated China's commitment to "peaceful development", speaking on the sidelines of an Asia- Pacific summit in Japan at a time when the two Asian powers are engaged in a bitter territorial dispute.

China, the world's number-two economy and top exporter, has been pushed to reduce its huge trade surplus with the West and allow its yuan to rise, but also to take action on global issues such as climate change.

"The international community should encourage emerging markets in the Asia Pacific to assume international responsibilities on the basis of their capabilities, national circumstances and levels of development," Hu said.

"To ask them to take on responsibilities and obligations beyond their capabilities and development stage will do no good to international cooperation and world economic development," he told a business forum.

"It can only damage the development of Asia Pacific emerging markets," he said, speaking ahead of the opening of a summit of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Yokohama near Tokyo.

He added, "We must recognise that although emerging markets in our region have scored remarkable achievements and development, the overall level of their productivity is not high and their ability for innovation is not strong."

Answering criticism that the yuan is artificially low to boost exports, he said, "We will continue to steadily move forward the reform of the renminbi  exchange rate regime in a self-initiated, controllable and gradual manner."

On the theme of the APEC summit, trade, he said, "The international community should oppose protectionism in all manifestations, call for and support free trade and handle frictions through dialogue and consultations."

Hu pledged support for reviving stalled talks to free up global trade launched by the World Trade Organisation at its Doha Round of negotiations in 2001.

The world community "should work for comprehensive and balanced outcomes of the Doha Round negotiations on the basis of the existing achievements, in order to realise the goals of the development round at an early date," he said.

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