The Devaluation of the Yuan: "A little impatience may ruin a great project" (Confucious)
China is one of the few Asian countries to have escaped financial turmoil. But the stability of the yuan against the dollar has caused it to rise vis-à-vis other Asian currencies, which is fuelling present fears about a devaluation of the Chinese currency. To be sure, maintaining the present parity will lead to a notable fall in China's foreign trade position in the long term. But there is no hurry to devalue. In 1998, China's foreign trade held up well despite the Asian crisis, due especially to assembly and subcontracting operations. Furthermore, a precipitous devaluation would almost certainly not have had the benefits expected of it, and would have carried with it important risks. An optimal strategy would be based, instead, on a gradual readjustment of the exchange rate, spread out over a year or two.
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