By James Saft
(Reuters) – Nobody seems to like picking on China any more.
Not only did the official communique issued by G20 central bankers and finance ministers assembled in Mexico City not mention the yuan, China was actually praised by U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
What a change it makes from summits past, when complaining about the undervaluation of the yuan was a seemingly fixed item on the agenda.
“China has played I think a really responsible, stabilizing role, despite its relative newcomer status,” Geithner said in Mexico City. “There’s been a dramatic change in the organization and structure of the economy towards domestic demand.”
Geithner also encouraged further appreciation of the yuan, saying it was in China’s best interest, but the overall tone was markedly different from one or two years ago.
The world has decidedly bigger problems these days than China artificially diverting demand towards its own exports, though it assuredly still is. An unfolding debacle in the euro zone is the rightful main focus, as it has the potential to greatly reduce demand rather than the lesser sin of simply redistributing it.