A leading economist called on Beijing not to play copycat if the US Federal Reserve decides to increase short-term interest rates, the South China Morning Post reported. Li Yang, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' financial research institute, argued in an essay published on Monday that China's monetary policy should be tailored to reflect its individual economic conditions. "The US has an expanding savings gap and continuous inflationary pressure, while in China savings have been higher than investment for many years and long-term price levels are stable or falling," Li said. He noted that preserving the interest rate differential between China and the US had helped to ease pressure on the yuan to appreciate. The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates at 17 consecutive meetings, prompting debate amongst Chinese economists as to whether Beijing should follow suit. In the last two years, China has raised rates twice.