China's yuan exchange rate policy is based on its own national interests, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday, days before a summit with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai made those comments in Beijing ahead of Hu's state visit from next Tuesday to Friday, including a summit with President Obama on Wednesday.

Cui was speaking at a forum hosted by the foreign ministry.

Obama is likely to raise U.S. complaints that Beijing keeps its yuan currency too cheap against the dollar, giving China an unfair trade advantage.

First of all, I want to say that in undertaking reform of the exchange rate formation mechanism for the renminbi, and in strengthening intellectual property rights protection, that is based on China's own developmental interests and needs, and is not in response to demands from another country, Cui said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday that Washington was willing to make progress in giving China greater access to the American market and high-tech goods, provided that it saw some give from Beijing on its tightly controlled exchange rate regime.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley, Writing by Sui-Lee Wee, Editing by Ken Wills)