The Yuan is a river in southeast central China flowing northeast from Guizhou to northeast Hunan. It is 805 km (500 miles) long.

It is also another name (the local name being Renminbi) for China's currency. As of this writing, the exchange rate is fixed at 8.28 yuan per US dollar.

There is growing pressure on China (mostly from the United States) to open the yuan to the global foreign exchange market, at a floating rate as almost all the currencies of Western nations are. One of the biggest reasons is that China currently has a $103 billion trade surplus with the US, which is projected to grow tremendously in the next several years.

The Chinese financial authorities say that their overall trade surplus is dropping, because of deficits with other Asian states1. Some economists are predicting that China will revalue the yuan some time next year (2004), and possibly allow it to float before the 2008 Olympics.

1These deficits are likely caused by the funding of China's military-industrial complex in proxy states such as North Korea and Malaysia.

Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/newswire/2003/09/20/rtr1087056.html
http://daga.dhs.org/daga/readingroom/newsclips/china-wto/30820scmp01.htm

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