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The headquarters of the People's Bank of China in Beijing: On Aug. 5, the central bank allowed the currency to weaken below the 7-yuan-to-the-dollar threshold maintained for more than a decade.   © Reuters
The Big Story

Trump finally labels China a currency manipulator

A currency war between the US and China would compound Asia’s growth problems

PETER GUEST, Nikkei Asian Review cover story editor | China

A few months after Donald Trump launched his campaign for the U.S. presidency in 2015, he wrote in an opinion piece that one of the first things he would do, on "day one" in the White House, would be to label China as a currency manipulator. He didn't, and nor did he follow through with a threat to apply the label in his first 100 days.

At no stage in Trump's presidency has China, or any other country, met the technical criteria required for a formal designation as a currency manipulator. However, on Aug. 5, the People's Bank of China -- which has been supporting, rather than weakening its currency for the past few years -- allowed the yuan to slip below 7 yuan to the dollar, a threshold that has remained in place for more than a decade.

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