Das ewige Gezeter über den Renminbi

NEW HAVEN – Die Abschwächung der chinesischen Währung Renminbi in den letzten Monaten hat altbekannte Vorwürfe wieder aufleben lassen, China betreibe Manipulation, einen Währungskrieg und Beggar-thy-Neighbor-Merkantilismus, wonach es den eigenen Wohlstand auf Kosten seiner Nachbarn sichert. Mitte April hat das US-Finanzministerium ernste Bedenken angesichts dieser Entwicklung geäußert und damit ein seit langem bestehendes und besonders umstrittenes wirtschaftspolitisches Problem zwischen den Vereinigten Staaten und China hervorgehoben.

Diese altbekannte Diskussion – politisch inspiriert und auf einer schlechten wirtschaftlichen Lage gegründet – erweist beiden Seiten einen ausgesprochen schlechten Dienst, indem sie die Aufmerksamkeit von weitaus wichtigeren Themen der Wirtschaftsbeziehung zwischen den USA und China ablenkt. Auf die Spitze getrieben bergen Amerikas Anschuldigungen das Risiko, den Weg der beiden größten Volkswirtschaften der Welt mit Handelskonflikten, Protektionismus oder Schlimmerem zu pflastern.

Zunächst zu den Fakten: Nachdem der Renminbi am 14. Januar 2014 seinen Höchststand erreicht hatte, ist sein Kurs gegenüber dem US-Dollar bis zum 25. April um 3,4% gefallen. Vorausgegangen war eine kumulative Aufwertung um 37% seit dem 21. Juli 2005, als China die Dollarbindung aufgehoben und sein Wechselkursregime auf ein so genanntes „Managed Floating“ umgestellt hatte. Gemessen an seinem Ausgangspunkt vor fast neun Jahren hat der Renminbi immer noch um 32,5% aufgewertet.

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