Cameron tells China to avoid protectionism

DAVID Cameron yesterday warned China against protectionist policies and raised the issue of its currency, ahead of today’s G20 meeting of world leaders.

In a carefully worded speech, the Prime Minister promised to campaign for greater links between Europe and China, but said the economic superpower needed to rebalance its economy towards domestic consumption.

He added: “The truth is that some countries with current account surpluses have been saving too much while others like mine with deficits have been saving too little.

“The result has been a dangerous tidal wave of money going from one side of the globe to the other.”

Cameron insisted that he did not want to punish China for being a successful exporter, but highlighted ways the country could shrink the deficit, such as boosting domestic consumption.

In a carefully worded speech, the Prime Minister also called on China to “take steps over time toward internationalising its currency”, setting the scene for a fraught G20 meeting.

Countries like the US think that the yuan, which has not been allowed to appreciate, is too low, fanning global imbalances in the economy.

The Prime Minister’s speech, delivered to an audience at Peking University, capped a high-profile two-day trade delegation to China that failed to live up to expectations.

Despite promising trade deals worth “billions of pounds” before the trade mission, officials admitted they were disappointed by the number of agreements that were signed.

Save for a £750m deal to supply Rolls-Royce airplane engines, there were few agreements worth trumpeting. Britain has lagged behind France and Germany in trade with China.