US and China hit wall over yuan debate

US PRESIDENT Barack Obama is due to visit The Great Wall of China today &ndash; but at the end of his tour of the region it seems the stumbling block of China&rsquo;s currency is just as tough to surmount.<br /><br />Obama yesterday urged China to let its yuan currency rise in value at a summit where strains between the two giants were barely masked by proclamations of goodwill.<br /><br />He said allowing the yuan to appreciate against the dollar &ldquo;would make an essential contribution to the global rebalancing effort&rdquo;. Washington says an undervalued yuan is contributing to imbalances between the two big economies.<br /><br />But standing beside Obama after their summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao avoided mentioning the yuan or the dollar and Obama was forced to hark back to a previous statements where China said it would work towards a more market-oriented exchange rate.<br /><br />For his part, Hu emphasised the need to avoid trade protectionism in a thinly veiled reference to China&rsquo;s irritation over new US tariffs on Chinese-made tyres, steel pipes and other products.<br /><br />Hu said the two leaders talked of the need to keep in close contact on &ldquo;macroeconomic and financial policies&rdquo;.<br /><br />&ldquo;I stressed that under the current circumstances, we need to oppose all kinds of trade protectionism even more strongly,&rdquo; Hu said.<br /><br />Asked about the lack of resolutions, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said: &ldquo;We didn&rsquo;t think the waters would part and everything would change with just one visit.&rdquo;