The Obama administration said on Friday that China's currency remained "significantly undervalued," but again stopped short of labeling the world's second-biggest economy a currency manipulator.
Although Beijing controls the pace at which the yuan can rise, the U.S. Treasury said in a congressionally mandated semi-annual report that China did not meet the legal requirements to be deemed a currency manipulator.
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The label is largely symbolic, but would require Washington to open discussions with Beijing on adjusting the yuan's value. Many U.S. lawmakers have accused China of deliberately keeping the yuan undervalued to gain a trade advantage.
The Treasury also said it was closely monitoring policies in Japan meant to support the growth of domestic demand. Japan's aggressive monetary policy to bring the economy out of deflation had raised criticism it was targeting a specific yen level, and started a debate about competitive devaluation.
(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Tim Ahmann)