On the sultry evening of July 21, 2005, I was having dinner in an American restaurant in Shanghai favored by expats. Shortly after 7:00p.m., over the course of less than five minutes, my four dinner companions' phones buzzed with the same news: China’s central bank had begun to allow the currency to appreciate from its seven-year peg of 8.27 yuan to the U.S. dollar, to 8.11 yuan.
Complaints against China by the U.S., European Union and Mexico were bolstered by a World Trade Organization finding that the nation’s limits on raw-materials exports broke global rules and gave domestic companies an edge.
China, the world’s biggest supplier of rare earths, almost doubled its export quota for the second half from a year ago, a change the European Union said actually adds restrictions to overseas shipments.
China’s investment environment for foreign companies is not worsening, despite “many allegations” to the contrary, Mei Xinyu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, said in a commentary in the China Daily today.