China portrayed its resistance to yuan devaluation as beneficial for its trading partners in an effort to win regional support against US calls for an appreciation of the Chinese currency, reported the Financial Times. China's profits from exports were shared by other countries in the region, with 55 per cent of Chinese exports being processed products from imported materials, said Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the Asean summit.
China's imports from Southeast Asia have been growing at an average annual rate of 25 per cent since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The country's bilateral trade with Asean reached US$54bn in 2002, and grew 55 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2003. Many imports from Asean are components or raw materials, which are processed before being re-exported. Wen advocated increased regional co-operation so that Asean and China could better withstand pressure brought about by an "unfair and irrational economic order".