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China's premier says relations with US will develop no matter who wins election

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China and the United States will keep developing positive relations no matter who wins November's US presidential election, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told an economic forum in New York on Tuesday.

[NEW YORK] China and the United States will keep developing positive relations no matter who wins November's US presidential election, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told an economic forum in New York on Tuesday.

Mr Li declined to comment on which candidate he favoured. Republican Donald Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on Chinese goods and push for tougher trade talks if elected.

His Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has changed tack on trade, backing away from a Pacific trade pact she previously endorsed.

"No matter who gets elected in the US presidential election, I believe that China-US ties will continue to grow steadily and in a positive direction," said Mr Li, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Mr Li also pledged that China would not engineer a devaluation of its currency to boost exports for its economy, which is growing at its slowest rate in two decades. Some critics in Washington have charged that Beijing is still manipulating its currency, although the US Treasury says its assessment is that it is not undervalued.

China's economy will continue its growth momentum this year, Mr Li said.

"I can say here that in the third quarter of this year, or until the end of this year, China's economy will maintain this momentum of steady growth."

China's growth target for this year is 6.5 to 7 per cent. In the second quarter of this year, the world's second-largest economy grew 6.7 per cent from a year ago, according to official data.

REUTERS