This paper evaluates China's exchange rate policy and current account surplus in the context of its rapid development. Recognizing that external imbalances reflect divergent national production and expenditure growth within both China and its trading partners, it contends that yuan exchange rate undervaluation against major currencies is central to any explanation of global imbalances. This misalignment artificially assists China's output growth and limits its household consumption, thereby slowing the rise in China's living standards. Meanwhile, due to currency misalignment, China's industrialized trading partners, most notably the United States and European Union, simultaneously experience larger bilateral current account deficits with China, lower output, lower saving and higher investment than otherwise. Further significant appreciation of China's exchange rate would simultaneously reduce China's huge trade surplus and the bilateral deficits of its trading partners, thereby alleviating international trade tensions.
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