US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's announcement that a report to Congress on China's currency policy will be delayed suggests that Washington and Beijing are taking more time to resolve the tough issue, according to analysts. But most said Beijing would not yield to pressure and dramatically reform its rigid exchange regime; instead, it would move gradually in its own time and be guided by what its domestic economy does. On Saturday, Geithner said meetings between China and the US over the next three months had been scheduled and provided a reason for the delay. The meetings, he said, 'are the best avenue for advancing US interests at this time'. The department was due to issue its semi-annual report to Congress on the currency policies of major trading partners on April 15. Geithner's statement did not label China a manipulator but included strong language about the country's currency policies. 'The Treasury's action has signalled to the market that Washington and Beijing prefer to resolve the dispute diplomatically rather than going for a showdown,' said Professor Jin Canrong, associate dean of Renmin University's School of International Relations. Jin said recent events such as President Hu Jintao's agreement to attend a nuclear security summit meeting in Washington next week on Monday and Tuesday, following a run of spats over Taiwan, Tibet and trade issues, had indicated that tensions were easing. 'The delay suggested both presidents were apparently moving to keep tensions over currency in check by giving the two sides more time to negotiate a deal,' Jin said. Naming China as a currency manipulator in the report would trigger talks between the two nations and a threat of US trade sanctions against China. Analysts said the administration of US President Barack Obama was seeking China's support on other global issues, such as measures to curb the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, making it an inconvenient time to risk inflaming the dispute over Beijing's currency policy. Jin and other analysts said external pressure had largely done more harm than good to China's international relations. Jing Ulrich, managing director and chairwoman of JPMorgan's China equities and commodities, said external political pressure would only make Beijing dig in its heels on yuan valuation. Rather, Ulrich said, a long-term appreciation would allow Beijing to mitigate domestic inflation and promote consumption by boosting household purchasing power in local currency terms. 'The pace of China's export recovery and dynamics of imported inflation will shape the country's approach towards currency valuation,' she said. Wang Tao, chief China economist with UBS Securities, agreed, saying that Beijing would choose when to allow fluctuations in the yuan this year in its own good time. The resumption of yuan fluctuations, she said, 'depends on the development of the domestic economy', adding she expected a resumption in yuan appreciation in the second quarter, largely due to recent stronger-than-expected rises in consumer inflation and export orders. Wang said she believed the recent visible improvement in Sino-US relations and a softening of the tone from Washington had given some room for Beijing to make a move on the currency. But last month, Premier Wen Jiabao dismissed claims that the yuan was undervalued, and Commerce Minister Chen Deming said the yuan's exchange rate alone would not address the US-China trade imbalance. Obama is facing increasing criticism at home for his failure to press Beijing to resume the yuan's appreciation. A growing number of lawmakers have called on the administration to label China a currency manipulator, saying Beijing purposely undervalues the yuan to give its exports a competitive advantage in the global market. Adding to the pressure, US Senator Charles Schumer was pushing legislation aimed at imposing trade penalties. China has allowed a roughly 20 per cent rise in the yuan's value against the US dollar since 2005 and reimposed the yuan's peg to the greenback after the global financial crisis hit in 2008. It had been based on a basket of currencies. Delaying the report - something that happened regularly in prior administrations - until after Hu's visit gives both sides a chance to deal with the issue. Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are due to travel to Beijing late next month for a set of talks called the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and there will be meetings of Group of 20 finance ministers in Washington on April 20-22 as well as a summit of G20 political leaders in Canada in June.