News / Asia

Chinese Yuan Rises to New High Against Dollar

The Chinese currency has risen to a new high against the dollar, as U.S. lawmakers push to get tougher on China for what they say is an undervalued currency.

Since Beijing removed the yuan's peg to the U.S. dollar in June after pressure from its largest trading partners, the yuan has strengthened only by about one percent.

On Tuesday, the yuan reached its highest level against the dollar after China's central bank set the reference rate at 6.7378 to the dollar.

The yuan's surge in the past few days comes as several U.S. lawmakers, some facing re-election in November, push for tariffs on imports from China. They argue that the yuan is undervalued, making Chinese goods unfairly cheap, which forces U.S. industries to shut down, contributing to high joblessness.

U.S. officials have expressed frustration that China has not let the yuan appreciate. National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers carried that message to Beijing last week when he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other senior officials.

"We have to wait and see what happens," said Andy Rothman, a market strategist in Shanghai for the investment bank CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, "but I think the initial signal from the Chinese government is, we hear Obama's message and will want to try to work with him on the political aspect of this problem."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies Thursday before a congressional committee on this issue. Some lawmakers have been disappointed that the Treasury Department refrained from calling China a currency manipulator in its past three reports. The next report will come out on October 15.

China's central bank only allows the yuan's value to move half a percent above or below its daily reference rate. China's trading partners argue its managed exchange rate causes global financial imbalances, because it sells more to the world than it imports.

China's trade surplus shrank 30 percent to $20 billion in August from July, but it was still the second-highest monthly surplus this year.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking through a translator, told the World Economic Forum in the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin Monday that China is pursuing a more balanced trade flow.

"We do not pursue surplus in foreign trade. China runs a trade surplus with the United States and Europe, yet a trade deficit with Japan and the ROK [South Korea]," he said. "Our export growth is rapidly recovering, yet our imports have grown even faster. We cannot and will not pursue development with our door closed."

But some market analysts say if the global economy weakens, China may depreciate the yuan or keep it at a virtual peg to the dollar to protect exports. The U.S. economic recovery is slowing and budget woes are dragging down European demand.

China has always insisted it will take a gradual approach toward a more flexible exchange rate. Its banking authorities stress that the yuan's value should be viewed against its current standard, which is a basket of currencies including the euro, the Japanese yen, and not solely on its exchange rate with the dollar.

The dollar has weakened against other major currencies in the past several days. On Tuesday, it hit a new 15-year low against the Japanese yen, and it remains near a five-month low against the Australian dollar.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid