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中国经济

Leader_China shows its strength by allowing the renminbi to slide
FT社评:人民币“破7”突显中国实力

“破7”并不说明中国经济存在致命疲软,也不是货币政策的根本转变。在特朗普加征关税的背景下,此举表明中国已经为贸易战继续下去做好准备。

Retaliation in the US-China trade war has taken a new form: the renminbi. Monday’s weakening of the Chinese currency past Rmb7 per dollar marks a decade low in the exchange rate and breaks through what is seen as a symbolic level. It is not, however, a sign of fatal weakness in the Chinese economy. Neither is it a fundamental shift in monetary policy. Coming just days after the US announced 10 per cent tariffs on the final $300bn imports from China, it is instead a clear sign that Beijing is prepared to use the currency as a weapon and let the trade war drag on.

美中贸易战出现了一种新的报复形式:人民币。周一,人民币跌破1美元兑7元人民币的水平,标志着人民币汇率的10年新低,突破了被视为具有象征意义的水平。然而,这并不是中国经济存在致命疲软的迹象,也不是货币政策的根本转变。就在几天前,美国宣布对剩余3000亿美元中国输美商品加征10%关税,因此此举明确表明,中国政府准备以人民币为武器,让这场贸易战打下去。

The People’s Bank of China appeared well prepared for the moment the renminbi “cracked seven”. The Chinese central bank issued a statement pointing to protectionism and tariffs as a reason for the weaker currency. It highlighted that it “has the experience, confidence and capacity to keep the renminbi exchange rate fundamentally stable at a reasonable and balanced level”. This seems entirely fair. Currency weakness is the logical result of the step-up in the trade war. Moreover, China’s overall trade surplus has continued to expand this year — both with the US and other countries — despite the tariffs. The broader current account surplus has also started to increase again after years of decline. Most telling of all, foreign exchange reserves are stable at about $3tn, pointing to an absence of protracted capital outflows or significant pressure on the Chinese currency.

中国人民银行(PBoC)似乎为当前人民币“破7”做好了充分准备。中国央行发表了一份声明,指出保护主义和关税是人民币贬值的一个原因。它强调自己“有经验、有信心、有能力保持人民币汇率在合理均衡水平上基本稳定”。这似乎是完全公平的。货币疲软是贸易战升级的合乎逻辑的结果。此外,尽管被加征了关税,中国今年对美国及其他国家的贸易顺差继续扩大。历经多年下滑后,更广泛的经常账户盈余也再次开始增加。最能说明问题的是,外汇储备稳定在约3万亿美元左右,表明不存在持续的资本外流,人民币也没有承受显著压力。

China’s economy, while slowing, has so far held up reasonably well from the trade spat. Trade flows have fallen, but the rotation towards a more consumption-oriented economy has lessened the impact from weaker trade on headline economic growth. And the gradual slowdown in gross domestic product growth is in line with continuing income convergence in the world’s second-largest economy. If China’s intention was a competitive devaluation to ignite export growth, this would need a much larger move in the currency. Against a trade-weighted basket of currencies, the renminbi has barely moved.

中国经济虽然在放缓,但到目前为止在贸易争端中表现得相当不错。贸易流量有所下降,但转向在更大程度上以消费为导向的经济的趋势,减轻了贸易疲软对整体经济增长的影响。而国内生产总值(GDP)增长的逐渐放缓,与世界第二大经济体的收入持续趋同是相符的。如果中国的意图是竞争性贬值以刺激出口增长,那将需要更大幅度的汇率变动。相对于贸易加权的一篮子货币,人民币几乎没有变动。

The slide past seven was nevertheless an important psychological barrier for markets. Emerging market currencies weakened in tandem on Monday and stock markets across the world dropped lower. As the uncertainty from the trade war drags on, it takes an increasing toll on the global economy.

不过,“破7”仍是市场的一道重要心理屏障。周一新兴市场货币紧跟着走软,全球股市下跌。随着贸易战带来的不确定性继续存在,全球经济遭受着越来越大的损失。

Just as domestic considerations such as heightened Chinese nationalism limit China’s room for manoeuvre on trade, Beijing also risks local anger if the renminbi falls too fast. The PBoC will be wary of any destabilising impact that currency weakness could have on the local equity market or domestic companies with US dollar-denominated debt. A significantly cheaper Chinese currency would also — counterproductively — offset the impact of US duties on imports from China.

正如中国民族主义高涨等国内考量因素限制了中国在贸易上的回旋余地一样,如果人民币贬值过快,中国政府也可能引发本国民众的愤怒。中国央行将警惕汇率疲软对本国股市或背负美元债务的国内企业可能造成的任何破坏稳定的影响。大幅贬值的人民币也将抵消美国关税对中国输美商品的影响,那将是适得其反的。

US president Donald Trump predictably responded by tweeting that Monday’s renminbi move was “currency manipulation”. Less than a fortnight ago Larry Kudlow, White House chief economic adviser, eased fears over a currency war by saying the US had decided against intervening to weaken the US dollar. But policy reversals under Mr Trump cannot be ruled out.

不出所料,美国总统唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)发推文表示,周一的人民币汇率变动是“汇率操纵”。不到两周前,白宫首席经济顾问拉里•库德洛(Larry Kudlow)表示,美国已决定不为了压低美元而进行干预,从而减轻了人们对汇率战的恐慌。但在特朗普主政下,人们不能排除政策逆转。

An exchange rate of Rmb7 to the US dollar does not hold any inherent economic significance for China and breaking through it will have limited economic impact. Any large sustained devaluation would, however, be destabilising for the entire global economy. China must consider the impact on its other trading partners, not just the US. The world already has a trade war, it does not need a currency war, too.

1美元兑7元人民币的汇率水平对中国没有内在的经济意义,跌破这一汇率的经济影响将是有限的。然而,任何大幅的持续贬值都会破坏全球经济的整体稳定。中国必须考虑对其他贸易伙伴的影响,而不仅仅是美国。世界已经有了贸易战,它不需要再发生一场汇率战。

译者/何黎

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