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Beijing - China's foreign currency reserves(外汇储备) have topped 1 trillion dollars, setting a new record for the world's largest currency reserves and sparking a new debate over China's economic policies. (来源:www.EnglishCN.com)

The new milestone was reported Tuesday by state China Central Television, which cited the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

The report did not say when China exceeded the milestone, but at the end of September, the government said the reserves had reached 987.9 billion dollars, and a rise of 18 billion dollars had been predicted for October.

China's currency reserves increase by nearly 30 million dollars per hour, fuelled primarily by its large trade surplus, which tripled last year to 102 billion dollars, and surging foreign investment.

China sports large trade surpluses with the United States and Europe, which have been pressing China for a large-scale market opening.

The removal of trade barriers was the focus of a visit to Beijing Tuesday by EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, who met with his Chinese counterpart, Bo Xilai.

China must grant better access to foreign goods and investment in its market and needs to dismantle(解除) non-tariff trade barriers, Mandelson said in a speech at Qinghua University.

Another factor in China's large trade surplus is its refusal to allow its currency to float(汇率浮动). Foreign governments have charged that China has kept the value of the yuan artificially low, which has made the price of its exports cheaper in other countries.

China became the country with the largest foreign currency reserves at the end of February when it overtook Japan, which had reserves of 881.3 billion dollars at the end of September.

China's reserves were predicted to continue their fast-paced growth(快速增长). Ba Shusong, an expert for the State Council, China's cabinet, said he expected the reserves to grow to 1.5 trillion dollars in only two years while the International Monetary Fund predicted they would hit 2 trillion dollars by 2010.

Experts warned of a fast-paced reconstitution of the reserves - 70 per cent of which are believed to consist of US dollars - because such a course could lead to a dramatic fall in the dollar's value.

Chinese media quoted Zhao Xijun of Beijing's People's University as recommending that China use the reserves to import high-tech products or energy facilities, invest in foreign companies or invest in its own underdeveloped social system.

 
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