A senior central bank official has rejected calls for a quicker increase in the flexibility of the renminbi exchange rate, saying the currency's role in rectifying global economic imbalances should not be exaggerated. Hu Xiaolian, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said more attention should instead be paid to growing protectionism to safeguard the health of the world economy, state media reported. In July 2005, China abandoned the renminbi's decade-old peg to the US dollar and let the currency appreciate by 2.1%. Since then, it has gained almost another 5% against the dollar. However, there has been a persistent international chorus, led by the US, arguing that China has not been moving quickly enough in letting its currency rise.