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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Here is how the 99% can force the 1% to defeat COVID-19
The government's response to the pandemic has further enriched the wealthy, while everyday people, especially Black and Brown workers, face sickness, death, and destitution. Government handouts to the rich are unsurprising, since they repeat the century-old pattern of "rescue packages", but another pattern is more perplexing: why have business leaders not stepped up to demand a robust public health response, which would ultimately be in their own self-interest? The titans of industry have mostly stood by in the face of Trump's criminal negligence, which has devastated much of the 99% but also endangers the wealthy.
Trump Organization planning ‘high-end’ retirement community — with 225 properties — on foreign soil: report
The Trump Organization is planning a massive real estate development, according to a new report by Martyn McLaughlin in The Scotsman.
"In what would be one of the most ambitious and expensive foreign projects undertaken by Donald Trump’s family business since he assumed the presidency, his company has commissioned a detailed masterplan to develop as many as 225 properties, as well as leisure facilities and shops, on an expanse of rolling farmland adjacent to Turnberry’s lauded Ailsa course, a four-time host of golf’s Open Championship," the Scottish newspaper reported.
WATCH: Video shows how Trump makes his caddie hang on to the back of the golf cart
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and economic catastrophe, the leader of the free world spent the weekend golfing at his private, for-profit golf course in Virginia.
For the second day in a row, Donald Trump's presidential motorcade traveled to Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.
"Today marks the president’s 86th day trip to Sterling," reported HuffPost correspondent S.V. Dáte, who was the White House pool reporter for print covering the day's events.