Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), under pressure from the US to revalue his nation's currency, agreed on Sunday that Chinese and American experts would study how Beijing could move toward a floating exchange rate, Bush administration officials said.
The administration has maintained that China's currency is undervalued, giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage. American manufacturers and members of Congress have blamed a weak Chinese currency for the loss of American jobs and the inability of the economy to create new ones.
The new study group, which will involve visits to Beijing by officials from the US Treasury, was announced after US President George W. Bush and Hu met in Bangkok at the APEC forum.
The creation of the study group appeared to be a compromise, designed to take some of the heat out of the growing political squall in the US over the currency issue.
Earlier in the day, Hu spoke to a group of international business executives and told them that the virtually fixed exchange rate for the yuan, was best for China and best for the world.
Any move to revalue the currency would have destabilizing effects, and China would resist that course of action, just as it had during the Asian financial crisis in 1997, he said.
"We will follow the same approach of responsibility to the renimbi exchange rate issue this time," he said. "Keeping the exchange rate of yuan stable serves China's economic performance and conforms to the requirements of the economic development in the Asia Pacific region and the whole world," he said.
But in his speech, Hu did not rule out changes in exchange rate mechanisms as the Chinese economy matured.
"We will maintain the basic stability of the exchange rate at a reasonable and balanced level, while further improving the rate-forming mechanism amid deeper financial reform," he said.
Hu, who was introduced to the executives by the former US Treasury secretary, Robert Rubin, was warmly greeted by the audience.
Many businessmen argue that the Chinese banks are so weak that floating the currency prematurely could precipitate a financial crisis.
"The idea of China revaluing its currency as a panacea to US trade problems is about as loony as the tariffs on steel last year," said Kenneth Courtis, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, Asia, after listening to Hu.
Courtis said that 60 percent of China's exports came from joint venture companies.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did