The Yuan Standard

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn joins the growing chorus of Western voices calling for a stronger Yuan to address unsustainable global trade imbalances.

The overvalued Yuan is not the only structural adjustment necessary, of course. Clearly, American consumers (both private and public sector) are going to have to ween themselves off of their dependency on debt.

But just as clearly, correcting the Yuan’s valuation is part of anydurable fix to the glaring problems in the global trade order. One way or the other, China is going to have to bite the bullet on the value of its dollar holdings and the withering pace of its economic growth. The question is whether that will be by design or necessity. How Beijing responds will be a good litmus test of its willingness to assume a more mature role in the global arena.

The choice, in both economic and diplomatic terms, is between short-term doping and long-term structural health. Where Beijing comes down will be very revealing about its strategic outlook.