Brad Setser: So, is the Bush Administration for bashing China or against it?

From Brad Setser’s Web Log:

So, is the Bush Administration for bashing China or against it?

Let no one think the Bush Administration doesn’t occasionally try to have it both ways.

A month ago the Bush Administration ratcheted up the verbal pressure on China. China was ready to change its peg, they declared. The previous strategy of quiet pressure, patience and financial diplomacy wasn’t working; China was getting the message that there was no urgency.

Today, depending on how you want to look at it, the Bush Administration either upped the heat on China by signaling that it will declare China a manipulator the next time, or wimped out. Setting the clock ticking might buy the Administration the ability to push the Congressional vote on Schumer-Graham off until after October. But splitting the difference also risks pleasing no one.

The blogger’s bio is here.

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