China ‘regrets’ US decision to call it a ‘currency manipulator’

Hindustan Times, Beijing | BySutirtho Patranobis
Aug 06, 2019 09:41 PM IST

Trump administrator’s move to brand China a ‘currency manipulator’ comes in the backdrop of trade wars between the two countries. The two sides have recently moved closer to restarting stalled negotiations

China on Tuesday criticised the US Treasury’s decision to label it as a “currency manipulator” as arbitrary, unilateral and protectionist amid the ongoing trade war between the two countries.

People’s Bank of China has rejected United States move to label China ‘currency manipulator’. Chinese bank says it regrets Washington’s unilateral decision(AP)
People’s Bank of China has rejected United States move to label China ‘currency manipulator’. Chinese bank says it regrets Washington’s unilateral decision(AP)

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China said it “regrets” Washington’s decision to slap it with “the currency manipulator” label, adding that Beijing doesn’t meet the “quantitative criteria for the so-called currency manipulators” set by the US Treasury.

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Washington’s decision and Beijing’s response came as the Chinese currency Yuan weakened against the US dollar, crossing the 7 RMB (Renminbi or RMB is the official currency of China, Yuan is its lowest unit) mark against 1$.

“The U.S. labeling is an arbitrary unilateral and protectionist practice, which seriously damages international rules and will significantly impact the global economy and financial markets,” the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.

The statement attributed the recent weakening of the Chinese currency to “market supply and demand as well as fluctuations in the global foreign exchange markets” amid changes in the global economic situation and rising trade tensions.

It called on the US to “pull back before it is too late” and return to a “rational and fair track”.

The Chinese central bank, state media said, has long been committed to keeping the Yuan’s exchange rate stable at a reasonable and balanced level.

“The Chinese currency is the strongest among the G20 group and is one of the currencies that have seen substantial appreciation globally. From the beginning of 2005 to June this year, the currency’s nominal exchange rate appreciated 38 per cent and real exchange rate strengthened 47 per cent,” the state media report said.

An editorial in the nationalistic tabloid Global Times called US’ move “absurd”.

“When China was widely believed to have taken measures to keep the Renminbi at 7, the US didn’t frown at it. But when China allows market forces to determine the Renminbi exchange rate, Washington accuses it of manipulation. This is absurd,” the editorial added.

It claimed that every time the US discarded trade talks, the trade war escalated. Now a vicious circle has formed.

“But China has two things that the US lacks. First, China has a powerful political system and the Chinese people have united against a common source of hatred. Second, China has a rapidly expanding domestic market and huge development potential. Which country has room for maneuver, and which country is facing a political cliff? We will let time prove,” it said.

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