Spotlight: Designating China “currency manipulator” paranoid, Sino-phobic: Cambodian experts

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Allegations of China manipulating currency baseless and hollow. Chinese Yuan With American Money. IMF debunks manipulation accusation. Darren4155| Dreamstime.com

PHNOM PENH, (Xinhua) — Labeling China as a “currency manipulator” is paranoid and Sino-phobic, Cambodian experts said here on Tuesday.

The United States on Monday designated China a “currency manipulator”, claiming that China was deliberately devaluing the Chinese yuan to gain an advantage in international trade.

Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said the groundless and fabricated accusations that China is manipulating its currency against other currencies are a sign of “paranoia and Sino-phobia”.

He said all economic and forex experts understand and know that local currency is always adjusted either upwards or downwards owing to internal and external market factors, and it is a normal practice in forex markets.

“Claiming that China is manipulating its currency is absolutely ridiculous and a hilarious claim,” he told Xinhua. “All the sovereign currencies in the world are being affected by the national and international market forces on a daily basis, and thus being adjusted accordingly.”

The senior professor said branding China as a “currency manipulator” is a weapon the United States is using in the trade dispute between the two countries.

“It looks like that the U.S. is using this term as a trade weapon to destroy the Chinese economy and economic fundamentals, and maligned its trade and economic relationship with other countries,” Matthews said. “It is a malicious approach, with ill intention to harm the Chinese economy.”

Chheang Vannarith, president of the Asian Vision Institute, said the United States, under the leadership of President Donald Trump, has taken concrete measures to contain China from rising.

“It’s similar to what the U.S. did to Japan in the 1980s, with the imposition of the Plaza Accord to force Japan to appreciate its currency,” he told Xinhua.

UNILATERALISM, PROTECTIONISM KEY CHALLENGES FOR GLOBAL ECONOMY

Matthews said the biggest challenge the international markets are facing is the infamous trend of unilateralism and protectionism.

“These are the driving forces that take global economy into recession,” he said.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, unilateralism and protectionism are pushing all Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the backtrack and the goal of alleviating poverty in the world seems to be more difficult for small and developing countries, he added.

“Multilateralism and free and fair grounds for all global economies are the key to eliminate poverty from the world,” the senior professor said. “Unilateralism and protectionism are the cancer and tumor for the world economy and global development.”

He said the current U.S. trade policy and unilateralism have literally “hijacked” the global economy.

“The U.S. trade war on tariffs against almost all economies in the world will take us nowhere. It is a lose-lose approach, and at the end, it will produce more losers. No one will come out to claim as the winner,” he said.

Ek Tha, permanent vice chairman of the Royal Government Spokesperson Unit, believed that negotiations still play a very important role in solving differences between nations concerning trade issues.

“So, it is the best for both sides to continue their talks,” he told Xinhua. “Given that we have the World Trade Organization (WTO) in place, all members of the WTO must respect the rules and regulations of free trade.”

Sharing his view on the Chinese currency, Tha said he is quite confident in the Chinese yuan given China’s stability and growths in all fields from trade to tourism, investment, and others, along with Beijing’s friendly policy.

“I believe the more China’s growth, the more Chinese investors will go to invest in other countries and that will bring about mutual benefit and contribute to global prosperity and development as a whole,” he said.

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