Frayed Ties

Scarcely a day passed last week that Washington didn't hurl another thunderbolt at Beijing, threatening to escalate a rancorous trade row between the world's top consumer, the U.S., and its most important supplier, China. The U.S. Commerce Department threw the first by imposing new quotas on Chinese textile imports. U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow then threatened to brand China a currency manipulator if it didn't take steps to let the yuan appreciate to stem a flood of Chinese manufactured goods, in the meantime naming a special envoy to negotiate with China. Beijing fired back. Premier Wen Jiabao warned against U.S. meddling,...

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