Premier Wen Jiabao offers an olive branch on trade after US commerce secretary steps up the angry rhetoric Premier Wen Jiabao has pledged China will increase its imports from the United States, in the latest conciliatory gesture to ease Washington's rising anger over the countries' ballooning trade imbalance. 'We hold that a basically balanced trade relationship between China and the United States should be pursued in the course of development,' Mr Wen told the visiting US Commerce Secretary Don Evans yesterday. He assured Mr Evans that China would take measures to expand its imports from US, Xinhua reported. Mr Wen said the two countries should solve problems of bilateral trade through negotiations in order to safeguard a healthy and steady development of trade relations and seek an eventual win-win result. Describing trade ties as 'an important basis' for the two countries' relationship, Mr Wen said it was in the fundamental interests of both the Chinese and American people to promote bilateral trade. 'There exists huge potential in this field because the economies of China and the United States are mutually complementary,' he said. Mr Wen also urged the US to relax export restrictions targeting China to help redress the trade imbalance Mr Wen's conciliatory remarks came after Mr Evans delivered a blistering attack on China's efforts to open its markets to the US during a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing. Mr Evans said he delivered a similar warning during his meeting with Mr Wen. 'They [China] acknowledged that they need to continue to work aggressively on market access for American goods and services,' he said after the meeting. Referring to intellectual property piracy, Mr Evans said the premier 'said he knows it's a big problem, and he said they are cracking down on it'. In a separate meeting with Mr Evans, Vice-Minister of Commerce Yu Guangzhou said US imports from China accounted for just 1 per cent of the US gross domestic product and should not therefore have a significant role in US unemployment rate, Xinhua said. Apparently timed with Mr Evans' visit, Xinhua also yesterday released an interview with Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, saying that China would gradually loosen controls over capital accounts and open up more services to foreign businesses. 'We are willing to take measures to help the US cut down the deficit. China will increase imports from the US and further open our services market. At the same time, China will loosen controls that are no longer necessary in some sectors,' Mr Zhou said after attending the Group of 20 finance ministers' summit in Morella, Mexico. But while China indicated a willingness to liberalise its markets, it is holding its ground on the currency issue. Mr Zhou said China would keep its renminbi 'basically stable' and warned that drastic changes in monetary policy would destabilise China's and Asia's economies. 'China has just come out of deflation this year and the situation is still not stable. If there is any major monetary policy change, we would again have the deflation worry.' US Treasury Secretary John Snow, who met Finance Minister Jin Renqing and Mr Zhou at the Mexican summit, was satisfied by what he described as 'a very good response' on the renminbi issue.