BEIJING, Thursday 17 June 2010 (AFP) - Chinese President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Canada next week ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto, the government said Thursday, while insisting he was not open to debate about currency rates.
Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Hu would leave for Canada on June 23 for a five-day visit culminating in the June 26-27 summit of world powers including the United States, European countries and big developing nations.
Human rights protestors have already gathered outside parliament in the capital Ottawa to denounce Hu's visit.
Trips abroad by Chinese leaders are often met with demonstrations over issues such as China's rule of Tibet and its alleged persecution of the Falungong spiritual sect.
Qin reiterated that China opposed any pressure over its currency policy, after US lawmakers pledged to launch legislation to punish Beijing over its exchange rate system.
"We want the international community to take an objective view on the RMB (yuan) exchange rate and work together to overcome the difficulties so as to maintain momentum of the recovery of the economy," he told reporters.
US lawmakers say China deliberately undervalues the yuan, giving exporters an unfair trade advantage and sparking job losses in the United States. But Beijing maintains that appreciating its currency will not solve these problems.
Qin said the G20 summit was not a "proper" platform to raise the currency dispute, adding that China hoped the meeting would help on issues such as increasing the say of developing nations in the International Monetary Fund.
"We hope the meeting can... deepen the supervision reform of international finance and improve the international financial system," he said.