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

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs