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Originally published Friday, January 14, 2011 at 11:44 AM

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White House urges China to embrace reform

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says expanding trade with China means the Asian power will likely become the largest trading partner of the United States in the next decade.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says expanding trade with China means the Asian power will likely become the largest trading partner of the United States in the next decade.

Geithner says the relationship with China has "huge economic benefits" to the United States.

His comments to reporters at the White House Friday came ahead of next week's state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The U.S. has been pressing the Chinese to raise the value of the yuan, a step the Chinese have taken incrementally since last June. But Geithner said Chinese inflation has also helped improve the competitiveness of American businesses in China.

China has been perceived as an economic threat by the American public. Geithner's comments were designed to ease some of those fears ahead of next week's meeting.

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