Chinese State Media Slams Obama Over Yuan Remarks

Nov. 14, 2011
'Maybe the U.S. should learn to accept the reality of a multi-polar world and change its mentality,' the state-run Global Times said.

Chinese state media has accused President Obama of "scapegoating" Beijing for America's economic woes after he lashed out at China's currency policy.

Obama on Sunday showed increasing frustration over China's control of the yuan, saying China has not done enough to allow the unit to reach a fair-market level and calling on Beijing to act more responsibly.

The official Xinhua news agency accused him of using the issue to attract votes, and said forcing the yuan to appreciate more quickly would bankrupt Chinese companies without resolving the U.S. trade deficit with China.

"Squeezing China, especially on the yuan, is an old trick in the run-up to [the] U.S. presidential election," it said in a commentary late Monday.

"Such a tactic of scapegoating others may attract some voters' attention, but is definitely no answer to America's real problems," it said.

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

'Slight Improvement' in the Yuan Not Enough

The issue has come to the political forefront in recent months, ahead of the U.S. presidential elections in November next year.

Speaking after an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that witnessed a toughening of the U.S. line toward Beijing, Obama said that while there has been "slight improvement [in the yuan] over the last year," it's not enough.

Obama also called on China to act more responsibly and address trade imbalances.

"Now they've grown up, and so they're going to have to help manage this process in a responsible way," he said.

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

Last month the Senate approved a bill to impose punitive taxes on Chinese imports if the yuan is not revalued, leading to an angry response in Beijing.

A separate editorial on Tuesday in the state-run Global Times -- a daily known for its nationalistic stance -- said the United States feels "insecure" in the face of a rising China and Washington would have to accept that its economy is in decline.

"The U.S. intends to solve economic problems by exerting political pressure on China. Such a mission is hollow and ultimately doomed to failure," the Global Times said.

"Maybe the U.S. should learn to accept the reality of a multi-polar world and change its mentality."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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