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China vows currency moves after U.S. criticism

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China on Wednesday pledged to make its exchange rate more “flexible”, a day after the United States said the yuan was undervalued, though it declined to name Beijing a currency manipulator.

“China will continue to increase the flexibility of the renminbi (yuan) exchange rate,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

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But in stronger remarks, China’s state news agency urged the United States to put an end to a “meaningless quarrel” over its yuan currency.

The US Treasury said Tuesday that China’s yuan is still significantly undervalued, although it refrained from saying Beijing manipulates the currency, which could lead to retaliatory action by Congress.

China’s official Xinhua news agency praised the US Treasury decision in a commentary, saying it sent a “positive signal” that would soothe financial markets and promote trade.

“It is time to move beyond the useless, meaningless quarrel over the exchange rate and look to the broader picture and new areas for both bilateral and global trade cooperation,” it said.

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US officials have long accused China of keeping its currency artificially low, fuelling a flow of cheap exports that helped send the US trade deficit with China to more than $270 billion in 2010.

But China defends its exchange rate regime, saying it is moving gradually to make the yuan more flexible.

Hong said China was seeking to boost domestic consumption, in apparent response to accusations Beijing is keeping the value of the currency low to boost exports, instead of finding other drivers for economic growth.

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The Xinhua commentary warned China will move at its own pace in making the yuan fully convertible.

Yuan “exchange rate reform and the internationalisation of the (yuan) will be a gradual and long-term process,” it said.

“Pushing for a sharp rise or decline in (the) exchange rate or seeking a once-for-all solution would be both unrealistic and harmful.”

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The US Treasury said the yuan had risen 7.5 percent against the dollar in the 18 months since Beijing began allowing a managed appreciation, and by 12 percent if China’s high inflation rate is figured in.

Nevertheless, it called the level of appreciation “insufficient” and said more progress was needed.


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Trump is ‘weakened on virtually every front’ as impeachment intensifies: Washington Post analysis

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President Donald Trump is in a "fragile state" and telegraphing weakness, according to a new analysis by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker.

"President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies," he wrote.

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2020 Election

Rep AOC helped Bernie Sanders turn out ‘the largest crowd drawn by any candidate’: report

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) helped Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) turn out a huge crowd at a campaign rally in New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, officially endorsed the Vermont senator at the event.

"Bernie Sanders has a crowd of 25,872 this afternoon at his Queens rally, according to the security company handling the event, Contemporary Services Corp. That would make this event, his first since his heart attack 18 days ago, the largest crowd drawn by any candidate," Buzzfeed News correspondent Ruby Cramer reported.

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‘Rudy is a lousy lawyer’: Ex-prosecutor reveals why nobody will hire Giuliani for legal work

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is getting rich selling his access to the White House, in spite of being a "lousy" attorney, according to a former federal prosecutor.

Paul Butler was interviewed on MSNBC by Kendis Gibson on Saturday.

"One issue is that representing Donald Trump has been great business for Rudy Giuliani," Butler noted.

"Since he’s started to be his defense attorney, there’s a huge demand for Rudy’s services. And let's face it, Rudy is a lousy lawyer. We’ve all seen him go on TV and by the time he goes off TV his client is in more trouble. So people probably aren’t hiring him for his legal skills, they want his access," he explained.

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