November 15th, 2009
10:04 AM GMT
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SINGAPORE – The talk was about global rebalancing. U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Asia on his first official tour, talking about a "rare inflection point in history". A time where "we have the opportunity to take a different path." A chance to rebalance the model where Asia consumers consume more and US exporters export more.

Chinese President Hu Jintao was among world leaders at the APEC summit in Singapore.
Chinese President Hu Jintao was among world leaders at the APEC summit in Singapore.

APEC leaders fully endorsed the strategy; virtually every economy in the world does. But look inside the APEC meeting in Singapore, and see the problems of turning this into reality. One of the biggest may be China.

More than two years ago, China began to allow its currency to appreciate against the dollar. By the time the financial crisis exploded, it had risen in value by about 20 percent. The crisis was the signal for China to freeze the exchange rate there at about 6.83 to the US dollar.

That was a year ago. Even China's Asian trade partners are now worried that the Chinese yuan is undervalued against the sinking dollar. So one of the key issues in Singapore was to put subtle pressure on China to unfreeze its currency.

Finance ministers talked about flexible exchange rates, the APEC leaders were expected to talk to about "market oriented" exchange rates - all aimed at prodding China to become a little more "market oriented" in its own exchange rates.

But by the end of the gathering, all reference to market-oriented exchange rates in the final statement from leaders had been erased. There had been debate behind closed doors between the U.S. and China about the statement. In the end China appears to have won out.

The message seem to be China will move only when its ready. And for all its newfound goodwill and push for re-engagement, there's not much the U.S. can do about that.

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Filed under: APECAsiaFinancial marketsMoneyUnited States


soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. R Menzies

    And this may be one more step on the ladder as the US slides further away from superpower status. The Chinese hold the wealth and can tell the US what they will do with the USD. They can crush the American economy and as a repercussion damage theirs, but not as badly as first might be thought. The command economy still exists in China, the economic catastrophe can be controlled more easily and the governments investment dominance creates a more level headed 'no surprises' result. This is not something the US government can do with such certainty. Two Chinese sayings to contemplate. 1. 'Catastrophe, when it comes, it comes quickly'. 2. 'Out of catastrophe comes opportunity'.

    November 15, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  2. Per Holmlund

    To late

    Were will we see the next move/problem? Commodities when the economy picks up steam. Commodity prices will correct for currency moves and continue to bear on US trade deficit. See October figures. Commodities will also create inflation pressure and that goes especially for countries with weak currencies. And most important it will create political tension.

    “In 2008 we could feel the effect of when the price of growth became growth itself. Tomorrow it can be a lot of the same but worse. The political heat wills probably bee many degrees higher.”

    And to this we have traditional trade patterns – the deficit builder – that will be hard to correct. The last cow standing, Wal-Mart, is moving up in its band indicating increased import from China!

    And give a thought to Europe without a pegged currency.

    November 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  3. Jon Wang

    Clearly, from what China has done, China has appeared to be a more responsible nation rather than an opportunist one. Obviously this kind of national or government behaviour is also rooted in its culture and tradition. So, America should also rethink its own behaviour but not always blame others whenever there is a problem when it is not faverable to America. Look at what happened between Japan and America in the 1980s and 1990s regarding their trade and economic problems? Who won at the end? None of them. So do we want to see this kind of endings again beween China and America? The Japanese economy suffered its longest recession after the burst of its bubble economy which neither helped the American's. The world should be really grateful for China's success and economic achievement which has contributed so much to the world economy and the whole international community.

    November 16, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  4. gogo

    States and international organizations like WTO etc should make China to free juan. because now it is unfair protection of China product and unfair trade and competition.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  5. Jake

    MAKE China free the Yuan??? Since when is it ok for someone to tell a sovergn nation what they have to do? Is it unfair for them to protect themselves from the economic failures of the rest of the world?

    November 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  6. gogo

    Jon Wang
    I think that only economical reforms is not enough. it is only first step. Now we can see marvelous growth in China, becouse China is growing practically from zero. But later also political reforms will be neccessary if China wants to be fully developed and solve the social problems and take leading role in the world. The fact is, that most of Chinese people hate their goverment no matter how growth is fast.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  7. Greg, Ontario

    Some how and I can't figure out how, we have allowed China to do what the rest of us are not allowed to do. When the green back hits a down turn and sends the loonie through the roof we don't freak and say sorry we refuse to let our dollar go above .82$ US. China on the other hand has been allowed to do just that and it's wrong and cowardly on our part. Until they operate on the same level with the same rules in good times and bad we can never be on an even playing field. We need to start telling them what thier Yuan is worth not asking them.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  8. Bill Rathburn

    For centuries, literally, Western governments and corporate interests considered and dealt with China as though it and its people were little more than a commodity. Huge fortunes were made at great expense to the Chinese and in fact the entire Cultural Revolution and all the excesses it brought was really a reaction to the wanton exploitation wrought by the West.

    How things have changed. Yet the US, Europe and it appears some members of APEC still do not appreciate the full magnitude of these changes, or the fact that they have already been relegated to lesser economic status, rapidly approaching economic dependence. This is especially true of the US, who's rabid fundamentalist consumerist culture and society would largely cease to function were the Chinese to call in their markers.

    November 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  9. Pauline Chin

    It has supplied a big market for many people to do business there when the economy of China is booming. It seems two side of a knife that China decides to unfreeze the currency. The final solution of global rebalancing might be against the profit of some businessmen.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:28 am |
  10. gogo

    JAKE
    Since when is it ok for someone to tell a sovergn nation what they have to do? since sovern nations trade . for exaple if you are member of WTO you have to follow some rules like not to aply some taxes for import goods etc. I do not know every details, but it seems to me, that it is not right if every countries have free currency and China has not. it is nothing against soverenity.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  11. observant

    Greg, Ontario:

    i fully agree with you. i believe that there should be free unrestricted trade (for the most part). somehow china has managed to convince the world that it's better for the world if china's currency remains artificially low (therefore guaranteeing their exports). the US puts up trade barriers and china cries foul, yet the world community is looking to china to raise their currency but all china does is snub its nose at the very countries that china relies on for its exports. it stinks of cowardice...and not just the US.

    Bill Rathburn,
    i think you are tremendously out of touch with reality. but the wonder of living in a free society is that you are free to formulate and express your own opinions without fear of persecution by the authorities. quite frankly sir, huge profits are being made off of the chinese by the chinese themselves. i'm just not seeing where your argument holds any water.

    Mr Jon Wang,
    pleae tell me what does the world as a whole have to thank china for? or the US for that matter?

    hope every1 has a great day!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  12. daniel

    Well,for China it's easy to kick the ball now. It's always the same game
    seeing it from the psychology game side. In the animal world the strong always hack on the weakest if the opportunity is good.
    But face the facts: which government started borrowing "money" from china? Why doesn't anybody name the names? Is this a part of "etikett" wise behaviour in respecting the retired former politicians this way? They almost lead this country to peril-economy wise.
    And now about President Obama's visit and talk about internet freedom: if I try to send a link from Time Magazin to a friend in China, it's not delivered. If I send an email without a link from an american political magazine, it is recieved by the reciever.
    My opinion: The chinese just do what they find is necessary for their own advantage. Look at the patent rights? Does China respect them?

    November 18, 2009 at 1:52 am |
  13. daniel

    I agree with Greg,Ontario on the topic about sticking to rules of
    economy

    Daniel

    November 18, 2009 at 1:56 am |
  14. Bill Rathburn

    The history of global trade has never been about balance or fairness. It's been about exploitation and contempt, and except for a realignment of the exploiters and the exploited there is no reason to believe that this fundamental trait of economics will change anytime soon.

    November 18, 2009 at 2:20 am |
  15. tanboontee

    China is holding the global economic trump card, and it would be only natural that the leaders want to call the shot.

    Do not expect too much from Beijing too soon. They will act when the opportunity favors the nation.

    November 18, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  16. mark

    oh, the product we chinese want to buy, you american don't want to sell. you say :"it is hi-te, you chinese have not qualification to use". now, the unbalance in trading is so obvious, you american still insist that chinese cann't buy some of your product, who to blame?
    about the speech freedom, i think america is better,but not perfect.how about talking Nazi, or some sensitive topic ? like thirty or forty years ago, when you would like to talk about the communism, maybe you would end up in a shadow jail!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  17. Daniel

    Before the Americans and Europeans trusted the chinese, they should have understood their culture first. The chinese are very very stingy people and will hoard much dollars in their pockets. Dealing with Communists in the first place is definitely a wrong idea.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:26 am |
  18. mtnviewvj

    Jon Wang, China is not responsible, but greedy. Its success in trade is because of a fixed rate of currency. It is a Communist nation ruled by successors of Mao Tse Tung, not a democracy. It is ravaging the production of goods in the importing countries by having a fixed rate yuan.
    It should be made to stick to rules which are intended for big and small countries.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  19. AI

    Daniel

    First, I think you know nothing about China and Chinese. You have no idea about how Chinese think and what the culture is. Chinese never completely show off their real conditions. If they show you 50%, thats considered a lot. Thats just what the culture is. They like to be modest. You dont understand this. Thats totally fine. However, you cant say its wrong just because you dont understand. Thats stupid!

    About the internet freedom. Thats how Chinese people do in their country. That has nothing to do with you nor the rest of the world. Thats their own business. Dont throw all these kinds of bullshit on China like human rights problem. People have their own rights in China and thats how it works all the way through China's rising. They know how to improve and have been working on it.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  20. David

    Greg, Ontario

    o please since when is the USA our best friend...

    Canadian companies were fined by the US government back when the natural gas prices soared.. because they charged too much...

    Canadian companies were fined by the US government when we exported shake and shingles to the US... because they charged too little (a action that the WTO sided with Canada on...) but the US ignored

    so much for our free trade with the USA

    China is doing what is best for its country, if you want to pay 1 dollar for 3 Chinese Yuan im sure you can go find someone to make that trade for you

    November 22, 2009 at 7:01 am |
  21. Peter Lee

    Dear China, You should inflate Yuan like what Japan did with their Yen and banks in the 80's to collapse their economy. You should open up your financial sector to our Wall Street Gurus and Hedge Funds to manipulate your free Yuan like what they did in the Asian Crisis.

    Anyway, China is only one of many countries that places a defence system on their currency and financial system to guard against foreign intruders. Coincidentally, the Canadian government and politicians are now talking to peg C$ to US$ if the US$ continues its free fall. Some other countries like Brazil, Russia are taking even harder measures to stop flooding of cheap US currencies.

    Maybe one of these days, we have to use our military might to force other soreign countries to surrender economic benefits to us, if not already so.

    November 22, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  22. Jason Wang

    It is a sham of using Chinese currency to cover up the failure of US economy. Let's imagine there was no China, US would still run a HUGE deficit (China coounts for 1/3 of the US deficit). Without China lending money to US, US economy would already tanked. You think the economy is bad, imagine without China's help. You are lucky if you can offord to go to Wal-Mart. Wake up, people, use your brain even if its is the size of a peanut. It is the WAR causing all the problems, stupid!

    November 23, 2009 at 1:18 am |
  23. fred

    actually its hard to compete with china,the chinese govt is notdoing against piracy, and the major one the govt control every thing, why not stop piracy? because piracy phavour chinese economy..........

    November 23, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  24. James Tong

    China China China. Without it, the world will still turn but don't blame Chinese for cheap good.

    People living in the rest had too much freedom and collectively these selfish acts hurt the whole world. Who is getting richer? Yes the Chinese but how about the factory workers who leave their family and home to work 12 hours a day just to glue the soles to your Nike shoes? Not to mention the crampy doom and fuming glue! Who is making the profit? Not just Chinese? Chinese will definitely pay the price because of all the corrupted local officials. But it's way much better than 20 years ago. A pair of Nike costs US$10-15 a pair. How much are they sold in the US? hmmmmm.... I hope you know maths.

    You blame China for flooding the world with cheap goods? Who else will work like the Chinese? Why don't you all lower your wages in the West and have factories reopened and make your own goods? If that is not called exploitation what is?

    While everyone in the US is looking for a minute of fame in order to get big bucks. Why don't they just start working and using their own hands?

    China might not be as democratic as it should have been. But this time and education. When more Chinese are returning to their motherland and when next generation becomes even more educated, then it will be the time for Chinese to choose what they want from their government. Not now! Most of you only know the obvious the 300 million Chinese which are on the coastal cities and remember there are 800 million more people in China are peasants.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  25. jack-in-a-box

    A strong dollar is the stated policy of all US governments. It makes us rich when we travel abroad. But it makes the things we produce more expensive there. If RMB to increase its value, the USD holders will all become poorer.

    Some US manufacturer would like the RMB to rise in value, thinking they can sell more for less. Some dreamt of bringing the jobs back: thinking we can then compete with the Chinese on making the stuff that are sold in Wal-Mart today.

    The debate boils down to this: do we Americans want our kids to make shoes for the Chinese in the future? Do you want your kids to sew buttons 10 hours a day and sell them in China?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  26. American-to-be

    Dear American forks,

    Let's not point fingers to anyone.
    Let's work more and spend less;
    Let's study more and leasure less;
    Let's sport more and eat less;
    Let's withdraw troops and leave Iraq and Afganistan to their people;
    Let's stop moving production lines abroad no matter how cheap they are.
    Let's stop teaching others how to make things;

    In all, let's united and face what we cannot avoid. Thins will get better if we do...

    November 23, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  27. Jonathan Foong

    China people and its leaders are still learning and trying to fully understand from the outside world, please give them a chance to do that, they might be not the way you like it now, but it is able to understand they has been many cut out from the outside world too long, till now it is still not easy flow of China people even within their own China motherland. They so many things for them to learn and follow before they can be compatible to the advance countries, those it seems their economy and lifestyles are modern, but if you go into China, you there are still many basic differences from other parts of the advanced and civilised countries. These are all due to difference branch of idealogy near time to meet and agree, by then China will be compatible with other advance countries, else no matter how advance , how modern, there are still no not same with others.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  28. David

    Here is the logic.

    Poor Chinese farmers work day and night to make cheap products to export to the US.

    The Americans are living an ultra luxury life – driving big car, living in large homes, over-consuming food (obesity in another term), etc.

    The US politicians spent $1 trillion dollars on Iraq and Afghan wars and more than $450 billion a year on weapons.

    There is no way the US population can create that much worth to support these. So the US government prints a lot of paper bills to send to China.

    It is getting out of hand and the US cannot repay back these bills in real goods (high-tech equipments, natural resource, etc).

    The US politicians and ordinary Americans start to ask the Chinese to rise the value of Yuan. The $800 billion dollars of the US debt will become $400 is Yuan's value is increased by 2x, or $267 is increased by 3x.

    Oh, capitalists are capitalists. That is especially true for the US politicians. Majorities of them are just opportunists.

    One suggestion to the US, auction off your Aircraft Carriers and F22 fighter jets to the Chinese.

    Never say never, that happened to the USSR. They auctioned off their aircraft carriers a while back.

    I cannot wait for the auction day.

    The real losers are the poor Chinese farmers.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:42 am |
  29. Brian Lee

    First, Japan's economy collapsed for a lot of reasons, The vallue of their yen only was affected after trouples already emerged. The US had nothign to do with it. It was speculating and buying risky investments that later became losses that burst their bubble. We cant compare the current situation with what happened back then.

    second, Jason Wang, Complaining about the vallue of the Chinese currency is not an attempt to hide or misdirect blame about the state of the US economy, as you seem to suggest. The US is only one of many countries expressing concern about China's monetary policy. It is over vallued for artificial reasons which hurts other economies. Thats why other nations complain. And they should.

    I think many people on here are so nationalistic in one way or another they arn't looking at this situation clearly. They just want to argue for/against China or the US.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:02 am |
  30. Bill Rathburn

    Oh come now all you blustery Stars and Stripers... better be nice to your Chinese benefactors. Time may come when you'll be happy for a job in one of their factories, and remember- there'll be no more of those stylishly macho wars of conquest without their financial backing.

    November 24, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  31. jason Wang

    Complaining the value of Chinese currency is absolutely an attempt to shift the blame of failure of current economy, or trade deficit before that. Those contries that complain about is, similar to US, run a trade deficit with China. You do not hear countries running a trade surplus with China complain about it. Back to the trade between US and China, even without trading with China, US still runs a huge deficit. It is very difficut to blame it on everyone else. What does US make these days? High-tech including weapons (but China can not buy them), movies, fast food, and what else. You do the math.

    November 24, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  32. Peter Lee

    It is interesting to learn that the Japanese economy had been in big trouble before their strong currency. With the basic economic we learnt, if you have a weak economy you have a weak currency for two fundamental reasons, not the other way round. Firstly, you need to balance national payment with weak currency (i.e. more money printing). Secondly, you want to adopt an expansory economic policy during difficult time (such as weak currency to promote export, etc.)

    Brian Lee, if your logic stands the other way round, the current weak US economy should have resulted in a strong US$. The current strong Chinese economy should have resulted in a weak Yuan. Well, we should have complained the value of Yuan being too high now!

    Yet, the history was, the US forced Japan to open up its finanical sector and currency in the 80's. Then came the US takeover of the Japanese financial institutions and the collapse of the Japanese economy. We have to understand that our Wall Street gurus can print paper moneys called derivatives to buy real assets in other countries.

    Based on my experience in so-called open Asian financial markets, a lot of American financial institutions have issued various forms of derivatives, e.g. to sell a promisory note for certain Asian stocks (including margins) which they do not own or to attack other countries' currency with cheap money raised through derivatives.

    Since these large institutions or hedge funds can print as much derivatives as they want, no country could compete against them unless a defence (early warning and regulatory) system is in place in their financial and currency markets. Unfortunately, Japan was forced by the West to remove their defence system in the 80's and so are many Asian countries at various stages. That were what happened in the collapse of the Japanese economy and the Asian crisis in 90's.

    In fact, the 2008/09 financial crisis is caused by similar acts called sub-par mortage that is a form of derivatives. Unfortunately for us, the Wall Street Gurus are burning us as well.

    November 25, 2009 at 5:45 am |
  33. Harry

    The primary purpose of the a country's government is to serve the country's people, rather than serve other people of another country. Chinese government should try to benefit the chinese people rather than paying the toll create by the financial crisis that initiate from US. China holds no responsibility for the current economic crisis, therefore it should not pay the price resulted. Also, depreciating Chinese yuan would not help in long term, because capitalist could just relocate its production to a cheaper place like south Asia and Africa.

    Everybody is put pressure to China to make it act in a way that it will harm itself and benefit everybody else. Although I am not a chinese citizen any more but I am happy that the government of my my hometown can stand up the pressure from those countries.

    November 25, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  34. Peter Lee

    Since Fred and many people justifiably raised the issue of piracy, I would like to express my opinion on this. Intellectual property right is a Western concept, it has never existed in Chinese history until recent Western influence. The problem of executing this concept in China is twofold.

    First, the West has not honoured Chinese intellectual property right themselves. Many Chinese inventions, arts and writings such as papers, bombs, powder, compass, artifats, etc. have been stolen by the West at different times, but nobody has paid China for its fair share, not even one cent. If you think this was history, you are wrong. You only need to look at Google's intended on-line library taking many Chinese writings that worth many billions of dollars. Do they pay for the right? No.

    Secondly, it is nothing to do with any Chinese government. Simply put, it's not a Chinese culture to embrace this concept. It will take a long, long time, if ever, before they could swallow this. You could witness the priacy problem in any part of Greater China or many other Asian countries, even though they have been under Western rules for over a hundred years.

    November 26, 2009 at 12:35 am |
  35. Ron

    To gogo

    You said: "…. The fact is, that most of Chinese people hate their goverment no matter how growth is fast."

    quite the contrary, that most of Chinese people indeed love their GOVERNMENT, love their country.

    November 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  36. Joman

    To gogo

    "…. The fact is, that most of Chinese people hate their goverment no matter how growth is fast."

    Do not hurry to deliver your funny point if you've never been to that great country

    China has 5000 years history. It is a country you can not describe it in one sentence..

    November 30, 2009 at 5:03 am |
  37. James Bond

    Weapons of Mass Destruction?

    America has spent trillions of dollars and thousands of lives defending our country against foreign invasion yet we signed NAFTA and have allowed China to keep its currency artificially low against the dollar and the result is job loss in America. Americans support cheap imports and job loss when they purchase these goods from American retailers. There is a commercial by a very large retailer that says we save the average American $3,000. What they fail to mention is by demanding their suppliers set up shop in China they are one of the chief causes of American job loss.

    As we make demands on our senators and congresspeople to balance our budget, let's also demand that they take steps to balance our trade budget. Don't listen to the few multinational companies that will tell you that "free trade" is good for America. All you have to do is look at our unemployment rate to see these policies have not worked!

    Coupled with the fact that China and other "cheap" labor countries do not have to follow the same rules as American manufacturers (I agree with the rules but everyone must have the same rules); i.e. Federal, State and Local Taxes and all of the administrative burdens and cost associated with complying with the regulations, Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, ADEA Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA-The employer is required to match the 6.2% social security tax rate imposed on the employee's first $102,000 of taxable wages as well as the 1.45% Medicare tax rate imposed on all of the employee's taxable wages.), Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA-Employers are required to match 6.2% of the employee's first $7,000 of taxable wages, health insurance (usually $350.00 to $500.00 per month per employee if you are paying 50% of the cost, I-9 verification and record keeping,

    November 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  38. Romulo

    James Bond

    It would be nice that everybody have the same rule, but why i have to pay
    for the war in Irak or Afganistan, that are paid by the tax the US govermnent collect.

    When in my country we are not in that war, but when we buy US goods the money for the war are already in the price I pay.

    To the rest.

    About the exchange rate, I personally think that it would be better for the world economy if the chinese goverment make it free but if they are afraid that this kind of economic move are very risky they should make it little by little.

    Argentina they had the one peso = one dollar, when they make it free it was a desaster for their economy in 48 hours it went to 4 peso = 1 dollar. And we all know what happened next with the argentinian bond and their external debt default. they have to write off 70 % of their debt. And nobody could do anything you had a 100 U$ argentina bond due in 3 month and in the nex second it was only 30 U$ argentina bond due in 10 years.

    Sorry for my bad english.

    Just a personal opinion

    December 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  39. James

    The current stable exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and Chinese Yuan benefits both countries. If the Chinese appreciate their currency, which may facilitate U.S. export, but the vast majority of Chinese people still cannot afford to buy American products. On the other side of the leverage, The Chinese goods and products already flooded the U.S. markets and are playing an important role in the U.S. economy. The price of everything “made in China” will increase and cause massive inflation in America. Consequently, the FED has to raise interest rate in the U.S. and also may take our ailing economy to another downturn. Making the Chinese to appreciate the value of their currency can drive the cheap labor in China out of the job market, but also pull a gun to shoot our own foot.

    Beyond the point, taking advantage of cheap labor, in essence, is indirect exploitation. We, American should appreciate and contend what we already have and not ask more.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  40. Westerners are really evil

    Westerners are really evil! They have been destroying the world! only China can save the people and the world from the evil west!

    January 4, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  41. L Hong

    To gogo

    You said: "…. The fact is, that most of Chinese people hate their goverment no matter how growth is fast."

    Ho Ho.... Watch out! Please gogo do some study before you conclude without fact.

    January 29, 2010 at 3:31 am |
  42. Ben Zhang

    China should be respected for its responsible globoal image

    February 4, 2010 at 7:29 am |
  43. danny

    Well if most of the judgement is about "growth" then break the economic
    growth down to the amount of people who produce and contribute to economic growth – then China is actually not so well off.
    Then the reality is that the average american still produces more than the average chinese. You can see that by comparing the per capita income. Also see the imbalance of the trade where China imports a lot less from America than America from China. And also China not wanting to tie its currency to the international currency. If it did so the exports of China would dramatically decrease, because the "real" value of the yuan would differ a lot from now! China actually wants to create its own economic rules and not play by international economic rules.

    February 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  44. James

    To Danny
    When we go shop, we can hardly find any store in the U.S. not carrying their merchandise made in China, because we are taking advantage of the cheap labor in China. We are exploiting the Chinese. Imagine if China increases its currency up 10%, can American afford to have inflation up 10%. Many people in our country only see we are losing our job market, but they do not see we are enjoying low price of everything made in China. American can gain in our job market, create more employment if we can cut our pay as low as the Chinese. America and all countries are economically interdependent. The easiest way if we do not like China, we just don't buy from the Chinese. Why that has never happened?

    February 9, 2010 at 4:26 am |
  45. BSTeh

    It was interesting to read all your comments as they represent views from so many perspective. What I don't read is an analysis of this CNN article.

    The comment that intrigued me the most is "... the APEC leaders were expected to talk to [word missing - China(/)] about "market oriented" exchange rates – all aimed at prodding China to become a little more "market oriented" in its own exchange rates. But by the end of the gathering [ of APEC leaders ], all reference to market oriented exchange rates in the final statement from leaders [ including the US ] had been erased." Why?

    Why all the leaders collectively have a change of purpose? Is there some reason that is more persuasive or more powerful that even an understandably strong collective front chose to defer to?

    Surely it cannot be a mere threat especially to so many as a front. A threat of war? A threat of civil disobedience? A threat of economical suicide or retaliation on all trading partners?

    I reckon that if we can identify the reason/s we can leave the debating and commiserating to our leaders in all their wisdom and exalted positions. Without the knowledge, information and resources that they have at their disposal, we will be merely speculating and conjecturing.

    That is not to say that we can't have our say which is what comments are for. No personal vendetta, no racial biasness, no cultural denigration. Just sharing views based on logic and reason, understanding and simple wisdom.

    Sure, we all want a fat bank account, flexible hours at work, large disposable income and high purchasing power. I'm sure the 1.1 billion people reportedly ( by World Bank ) living on less than 1 USD a day may also want that or don't they matter.

    March 10, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  46. D Jones

    LOL
    China, Germany, and Japan buys up all the US debt.
    They might see that money back, in about 30 years.
    Yes, it's absolutely wonderful to fight a war on somebody else's payroll.

    I highly doubt the Chinese are complaining about "exploitation".
    They make money working part-time labor, more than what most can make in agriculture (Chinese gov has strictly managed food prices). China has an estimated unemployment rate of 15%, about 120 mil people unemployed. So yes, thanks to American outsourcing, Chinese economy has greatly benefited.

    To all those people who think Chinese industry is highly disorganized and mismanaged. Of course! There's so much corruption money flowing around that regulations are not being enforced. Maybe after some generations of politicians, the political structure will become cleaner.

    A responsible nation, what the hell does that even mean? A nation that sacrifices self-interest at the behest of others, does that even exist? International politics is about power and leverage. The role and purpose of UN has been degraded to a tool of use for political sanctions at the will of the perm members. I'm surprised China's working to destabilize US economy because it is in their interest and benefit to weaken US economical then political power in international politics.

    March 28, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  47. icon pack

    Fantasy :)

    October 10, 2012 at 7:49 am |

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