LONDON, Feb. 25 -- China's trade surplus should not be simply attributed to the current exchange rate of the renminbi, said Stephen King, chief economist at the HSBC bank.
China's high levels of precautionary savings by households, rather than the exchange rate, is a more important factor for China's surplus, King said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
He took the example of Japan. "Despite a massive yen appreciation over the last 40 years, Japan's current account surplus has risen," he said.
Commenting on the argument that developing countries or emerging market countries are the victims of China's currency policy, King said the developing countries are trading a lot more with each other for their mutual benefit, instead of competing with each other to sell to the West.
The impact of Chinese demand on global commodity prices has made substantial benefits to the emerging countries in the latest financial crisis, he said.
Emerging markets led by China performed "extremely well" for the past years, and have been leading a global recovery, said King.
As regards the renminbi exchange rate, King said: "It's quite possible that a renminbi adjustment on a large scale would either lead to lower wages and faster productivity growth in China or higher wages and lower productivity growth in the West."
According to the economist, China, whose economy grows about three times as fast as the US economy, contributes to global growth almost as much as the United States.