BEIJING (AFP) - China said Friday it will make its own decisions on how to manage its exchange rate and rejected accusations that the yuan is undervalued, amid growing international calls for a stronger currency. The Chinese government will make responsible and independent decisions on the foreign exchange policy based on its economic and monetary situation, Vice Commerce Minister Chen Jian told reporters. This is nothing to be criticised. Chinas foreign exchange rate is not undervalued. International disquiet has grown over the yuan, which critics say is undervalued by as much as 40 percent against the dollar, giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage. Washington has led the charge in ramping up the pressure on Beijing to let the yuan effectively pegged at about 6.8 to the US dollar since mid-2008 appreciate. The commerce ministry defends the exchange rate policy as necessary to protect Chinese exporters hit by the global financial crisis and ensure jobs growth in the vast manufacturing sector. US lawmakers on both sides of the political divide have blamed the allegedly undervalued yuan for the trade deficit with China, which soared to nearly 227 billion dollars in 2009. They have introduced legislation to punish China with trade sanctions and asked US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to label Beijing a currency manipulator in a report due April 15 that could trigger tougher action. But Chen said the yuan was not to blame for global economic problems. A disease in the head cannot be cured by treating the foot, he said. The imbalance in the world economy is rooted in mistaken policies in some countries... and imbalances in the international monetary management system. Chen said China was likely to record a trade deficit in March due to a surge in imports, proving Beijing does not deliberately pursue a trade surplus. We let the market decide, he said.