News / Asia

    China's Trade Surplus Hits $20 Billion Again

    The Chinese government released figures Friday showing the country's trade surplus remains high, but is shrinking as imports outpaced exports in August.  Two economists, who watch China closely, expect Beijing to continue to resist American pressure to allow its currency to appreciate more rapidly to makes its exports more expensive and help accelerate the slow growth in the U.S. economy.

    The August figure was slightly more than $20 billion with imports outpacing exports.  The figure is lower than July's of nearly $29 billion. Yet, it is the third consecutive trade surplus in excess of $20 billion and, according to chief China economist Ben Simpfendorfer of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong, it is likely to exacerbate trade friction with the United States over claims the Chinese currency, the yuan, is undervalued:

    "That trade surplus has certainly fallen over the last three months, but it does remain at a very high level.  And, it does give the U.S. Congress reason to be critical of China's currency policy, especially given that we've seen very little move on the currency over the last month or so.  I think most important, though, that exports have actually weakened over the last three months and that will, in turn, give China, particularly the Minister of Commerce, and some concern over its own export sector and it will continue to resist even modest changes in the currency," said Ben Simpfendorfer.

    China's exports grew just over 34 percent in August, about $140 billion, compared to July's 38 percent, about $145 billion.  Simpfendorfer expects exports to continue to decline through the end of the year.  That, says Ken Peng, an economist with Citibank in Beijing, coupled with rising imports, will only make China dig in its heels over the currency issue:

    "Compared to last month, the amount of the surplus is much smaller and, also, the amounts of imports are much larger.  So, I think, from Beijing's perspective, this will actually argue for the opposite because imports are rising and the surplus is shrinking, but from Washington DC's perspective, I don't think this will help much.  I think there's a very strong voice to try to remedy America's employment situation through trade," said Peng.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday that China has "not let the currency move very much so far and we'd like to see them move more quickly."  Some U.S. lawmakers have been pressing the Obama Administration to demand a speedier appreciation of the yuan.  The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee is set to discuss the matter during a hearing this coming week.  China has limited the currency's appreciation to less than one percent versus the dollar since a June pledge for greater flexibility.

    Citibank's Ken Peng says one reason for China's resistance to greater appreciation is that its own domestic economy is slowing.

    "I think China's domestic economy is slowing because of various tightening measures domestically and also exports, going forward, will face weakness as well because demand for the U.S. and Europe will continue to slow down," he said.

    China's economy grew 10.3 percent in the second quarter after an 11.9 percent growth rate in the first quarter.  Ben Simfendorfer of RBS expects an annual growth rate in 2010 in China of between 8 percent and 9 percent.  And, with concerns about inflation lingering, he says the Chinese central bank may actually raise a key interest rate to dampen demand.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora