World News Brief, Thursday April 8

Geithner in Beijing for currency talks amid heightened tensions; Thailand declares state of emergency; Shiite supporters abandon Maliki; Karzai bribery accusations lead to resignations; and more

Top of the Agenda: Geithner to Conduct Talks in Beijing

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will hold talks in Beijing (WashPost) Thursday amid heightened tensions between the United States and China over the value of the Chinese yuan. The yuan will likely top Geithner's agenda during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, days after the US Treasury postponed its decision on naming China a "currency manipulator." Meanwhile, a policy overview by China's National Development and Reform Commission, the country's most influential economic planning agency, suggested Chinese authorities are considering letting the yuan rise off its peg against the dollar. The statement said China would consider exporters' exchange rate risks, while one of its economists said China should move toward a more flexible exchange rate. The White House said President Barack Obama would also discuss the issue next week with Chinese President Hu Jintao during a nuclear security summit in Washington.

China's foreign ministry said the country's currency policy would follow three principles: Any change would be controlled, home-grown, and gradual (FT).


In the Times of London, Bill Emmott says postponement of the April 15 report on currency manipulation makes sense, because a deal between the United States and China on its currency is feasible.

In the Financial Times, Clive Crook says the US Treasury's delay was wise, because a more sophisticated, cooperative approach is more likely to garner China's support.


This CFR Backgrounder examines the China-US economic imbalance.


PACIFIC RIM: Thailand Declares State of Emergency

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency (AFP) in response to escalating anti-government protests in support of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Read CFR's Asia Unbound blog, featuring timely analysis from CFR's Asia experts.



Iraqi Premier Loses Key Shiite Support
Top Afghan Election Officials Resign
U.S. and Brazil Cut Deal on Cotton



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