In the next day or two, will try to cover several evolving issues in China: the RMB controversy, repercussions from the Nobel prize, and latest news about its military.
For the moment, a set of links, and a reader message.
- Links about the RMB: Yesterday my colleague Clive Crook posted an item called "Getting Tough with China," essentially arguing that the Chinese government's refusal to let its currency rise in value was becoming a problem for the entire world. Short version of the argument: when economies everywhere are suffering from a collective "failure of demand," the Chinese government's insistence on keeping its currency low, even as it runs chronic (though declining) trade surpluses, makes it that much harder for all other economies to recover. Longer version of the argument, from my perspective, here and here.
Clive Crook is as redoubtable a free-trade advocate as you are going to find, in a tradition running from David "wine and cloth" Ricardo to Jagdish "watch out for trade war!" Bhagwati. If I were the Chinese authorities, I would note this column carefully. As was said (about me, in a different connection), if they have lost Clive Crook on this one, they are in trouble. He does emphasize that the U.S. should try like crazy to avoid this being an "America-vs-China" showdown, and instead make it as collective and international as possible. More tomorrow on this, including discussion of Michael Pettis's latest entry, which to me is different in tone not only from Crook's but also from what Pettis has written before.