Speaking at a seminar in Beijing, Chen Deming rejected a contention by some U.S. economists that China's policy of keeping its currency artificially undervalued is largely responsible for running huge trade surpluses against the United States, the China Daily reported.
"China, of course, wants to buy more to balance trade, but it is a pity there are so many things that we cannot buy from the U.S.," Chen said in a China Daily report.
"The U.S. has set restrictions on exports three times, and it added several categories in 2007 such as computers, aerospace technology and digital machine tools," Chen said.
The minister predicted China's surging imports could create a trade deficit for March.
A yuan appreciation against major foreign currencies will not have much of an impact because China's exports have been growing at an annual rate of 20 percent for the past
three decades and that the yuan had cumulatively appreciated by 21 percent between 2005 and 2008, the minister said.
The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama has been critical of China's currency policy and Beijing is fighting to stop the U.S. Treasury Department from designating it as a currency manipulator since that would allow Washington to impose duties on Chinese imports.
China Daily quoted Chinese analysts as saying the Obama administration, facing mid-term Congressional elections this year and under pressure to create more jobs, has targeted the yuan to placate voters.