China’s import growth dipped in December even as exports remained steady, adding to pressure for further appreciation of the country’s currency, Bloomberg reported. Imports were up 11.8% year-on-year, the slowest growth in two years and below economists’ expectations. The trade surplus widened to US$16.5 billion on the back of resilient exports, which held rose 13.4% y-o-y. The trade surplus comes as US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner begins a two-day visit to Beijing, during which he is expected to pressure his Chinese counterparts to allow further appreciation of the renminbi. “China will be asked to step up and shoulder more responsibility, together with the US, to ensure the world does not fall into recession again,” said Liu Li-Gang, an economist at ANZ Bank.