Quelle politique monétaire faut-il à la Chine ?

La croissance remarquable de la Chine a été financée récemment par un accroissement rapide des capitaux et des crédits bancaires, entraînant un essor d’investissement de moins en moins viable. Cette précarité ravive les inquiétudes sur l’incapacité du pays à éviter que le douloureux schéma en dents de scie du milieu des années 90 ne se reproduise.

La politique monétaire est généralement la première ligne de défense dans ce type de situation. Mais celle de la Chine est paralysée par un régime de taux de change rigoureusement administré, qui empêche la banque centrale – la Banque populaire de Chine (BPC) – de prendre des décisions sur la politique à mener afin de gérer les demandes internes. En effet, la hausse du taux d’intérêt pourrait encourager les afflux de capitaux et exercer davantage de pression sur le taux de change.

Ce débat vigoureux sur la politique de taux de change ne date certes pas d’hier. Au vu de la croissance de l’excédent commercial de la Chine, les observateurs sollicitent une réévaluation du Renminbi pour remédier à ce qui relèverait, selon eux, d’une compétition déloyale maintenue par la Chine dans les marchés internationaux. D’autres soutiennent que la stabilité du taux de change favorise celle de la macroéconomie. Mais là n’est pas le centre du débat.

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