In short, China’s exchange-rate policy is mainly driven by the aim of enhancing the nation’s export competitiveness. But other factors play a role, namely a desire to maintain domestic and regional macro-economic stability, keep inflationary pressures at bay, and force a gradual upgrading of the industrial structure. From the point of view of Chinese policy makers, all of these objectives suggest that the exchange rate should be carefully managed, rather than left to unpredictable market forces. While economists may argue that long-run economic stability is better served by a more flexible exchange rate, Chinese officials can point to the excellent track record their policies have produced: consistent GDP growth of around 10 percent a year since the late 1990s, inflation consistently at or below 5 percent, export growth of more than 20 percent a year, and a steady increase in the sophistication of Chinese exports. Until some kind of crisis convinces them that their economic policies require major adjustment, China’s economic planners are likely to stick with their current formula.
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