Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Chinese Yuan, Rare Earths and the Selection of Critical Mining Projects

Jack Lifton submits:

If you’re reasonably well informed about global trade issues, then you know that the U.S. and China disagree politically on the relative value of the Chinese renminbi in U.S. dollars, and that the renminbi’s exchange rate with the U.S. dollar is set by the Chinese government.

This is because the world market has chosen not to make the renminbi freely convertible (exchangeable for other currencies at a rate set by a free market, not by the issuing country). This is itself because the Chinese government exclusively sets the exchange rate, and its power to do so is based on the immense size of its trading economy surplus (of export value over import cost), and on the fact that China has now built up the world’s largest (ever in history) reserves of "hard" currency (convertible to U.S. dollars), in the form of U.S. dollars themselves.

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