So Hank Paulson travelled to China to tell the Chinese not to devalue the yuan against the dollar. China’s response: we own you, and we’d appreciate it if you’d start looking after our investments.
But Mr Paulson also found himself facing calls for the US to address its own economic problems. Wang Qishan, a vice-premier and leader of the Chinese delegation at the two-day talks, called on the US to take swift action to address the crisis.
“We hope the US side will take the necessary measures to stabilise the economy and financial markets as well as guarantee the safety of China’s assets and investments in the US,” he said.
The dialogue was dominated by the global crisis. Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the Chinese central bank, urged the US to rebalance its economy. “Over-consumption and a high reliance on credit is the cause of the US financial crisis,” he said. “As the largest and most important economy in the world, the US should take the initiative to adjust its policies, raise its savings ratio appropriately and reduce its trade and fiscal deficits.”