China's premier - Wen Jiabao - put the world on warning yesterday that there will be no "undue haste" in the introduction of a more flexible exchange rate for China. Whether this is the result of the incompetent way this issue has been handled at the political level, or whether this was always going to be this way, China is now making clear that *she* will decide.
"Before representatives of more than 40 countries, Mr Wen reaffirmed China's longstanding commitment to move to a more flexible system, without disclosing when and how the change would be made. "By 'gradual progress', we mean to push forward the reform in a step- by-step manner. . . .and guard against undue haste," Mr Wen said.
"However, since this reform involves a wide range of areas and will have a far-reaching impact, it still requires a great deal of preparation to help create an enabling environment for all sides to sustain the possible impacts."
Mr Wen listed a lengthy set of considerations guiding policy on the renminbi, including its impact on domestic economic growth, job creation, financial stability, foreign trade and the ability of local companies to manage currency risk.
At the end of this list, Mr Wen said China would also "keep an eye on the economic and financial performance of neighbouring countries and regions, and of the world as a whole".
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