A top mainland trade official indicated yesterday that Beijing would reject a move by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to discuss China's currency, amid reports that the WTO had agreed to do just that for the first time since its founding. 'China will make its views clear to the WTO on the issue of currency,' Assistant Commerce Minister Yu Jianhua said, responding to a question about reports that the 153 members of the Geneva-based trade body had agreed to examine the issue at a meeting in March. 'The WTO so far has never set any single Dispute Settlement Panel for exchange rates,' Yu said, adding that different international agencies had different tasks and that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) oversaw exchange-rate issues. 'Work division in international organisations must be co-operative but clarified,' Yu told a briefing in Beijing yesterday. Media reports on Wednesday said the WTO would examine whether international trade rules cover efforts by governments to manipulate the value of their currencies - a debate driven by China's currency policy. Other reports said Brazil was filing a complaint to the WTO to seek protective measures to shield its manufacturers from exports by countries, including China, whose currencies it said were artificially under-valued. The yuan fell against the US dollar late yesterday, tracking a weaker reference rate set by the Chinese central bank against the US dollar. Standard Chartered said it was 'substantially' scaling back projections for yuan appreciation over the coming quarters as China's trade surplus and inflation moderate. The yuan is up about 3.8 per cent against the dollar to date this year. China's global trade surplus in the first 10 months of this year reached US$124.0 billion, down 16 per cent from US$147.8 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to data from the customs bureau. Also, China's trade surplus accounted for less than 3 per cent of its gross domestic product last year. The figure fell to 1.4 per cent of GDP in the first 10 months of this year, Yu said, adding that China's trade surplus was likely to continue to narrow in the near future. The United States, which runs a massive trade deficit with China, has long complained that Beijing's currency policy is hurting US growth and employment. Chinese officials often point to the falling trade surplus to argue against growing pressure by the US and other countries for faster appreciation of the yuan. Yu said an academic study had found that China's trade surplus with the US could be overstated by as much as 60 per cent. However, he did not specify which study he was referring to. He said China would continue to liberalise its economy and engage 'more proactively' in globalisation 10 years after joining the WTO. China would also continue to open its consumer goods, financial, logistics and medical services markets, Yu said. Nevertheless, the world's second-largest economy's exchange-rate policy has been widely criticised not just by developed countries, led by the US, but also by emerging economies such as Brazil and Mexico. Indeed, US President Barack Obama has hardened his tone on the issue. At a just-ended Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, Obama declared 'enough's enough' in his reference to Beijing's lack of action in allowing the yuan to further appreciate. He warned that Beijing must play by international rules.