In a year of thrills, spills and chills, here’s something else that has not gone as Donald Trump expected: China’s currency is rising.
One of the US president’s most consistent gripes is how Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is stealing jobs via an undervalued yuan. On the campaign trail and in the White House, Trump never misses a chance to complain that “currency manipulator” Beijing is “killing us.”
More recently, Trump even conflated a yuan rate with Covid-19 as he excoriated Beijing for unleashing a “scourge” on his re-election efforts ahead of November 3.
Perhaps Trump has not noticed the yuan’s steady rise – 4.3% in these past few months alone. Xi sure has. The People’s Bank of China just acted to slow the currency’s advance. It scrapped a two-year-old policy that made it expensive for traders to bet against the yuan.
Even so, things have changed. Unlike in the recent past, Xi’s team did not encourage declines – it merely ensured the rise unfolds in an orderly fashion. This tolerance seems a harbinger of reforms to come that augur well both for China and the world economy.