February 10, 2016
China's Yuan Won't Topple the Dollar After All

by Milton Ezrati

It was always a ridiculous contention, and it seems even less reasonable now. Not even a year ago, consensus thinking saw China's yuan on the verge of replacing the dollar as the world's premier reserve currency. Now the flood of funds out of China, and the yuan's declining value, have stifled all such talk and even such thinking. No doubt circumstances will continue along current lines for a while to come. Still, today's negative attitudes are setting the stage for a rebirth of pro-yuan speculation, perhaps pretty soon. It will be wrong again.

When the pro-yuan thinking was at its height last spring, it looked as though the currency had support from all quarters. China's economy seemed to be doing reasonably well, though growing at a much slower pace than previously. Beijing was also making headlines with its efforts to give the yuan a more prominent international role. To argue the other side of the question, that the dollar was not quite so vulnerable, took a disciplined analysis of the fundamentals, historic and economic, as well as recognition that not all policy in Beijing supported the effort to substitute the yuan for the dollar. The National Interest offered just such an analysis.

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