WASHINGTON - United States President Donald Trump accused Russia and China on Monday of devaluing their currencies while it raises interest rates, prompting China to accuse the US of sending confusing messages.
“Russia and China are playing the currency devaluation game as the US keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!” Trump said in a Twitter post.
Speaking in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying noted that what Trump said seemed to contradict the US treasury’s report that refrained from naming any major trading partners as currency manipulators.
“So it seems like the information being released by the US side is a bit chaotic,” she told a daily news briefing.
Hua said it reminded her of a poem by the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong, about remaining calm in the midst of chaos.
“No matter what others say we will continue to steadily promote the reform of the renminbi exchange rate mechanism,” she added, without elaborating, using the currency’s formal name.
Trump’s tweet referred to what he sees as unfair trading advantages: If a country’s currency is artificially low, its exports are more competitive. Higher US interest rates would generally increase the value of the dollar, making US exports more expensive.