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China Still Ready to Help Prop up the Ruble If Needed

South China Morning Post




Says China's Ministry of Commerce


This article originally appeared at South China Morning Post

China is carefully monitoring the fallout from the collapse of Russia’s rouble currency and stands ready to act if necessary to keep economic linkages stable, the Ministry of Commerce said.

“Depreciation of the Rouble would inevitably exert influence on Sino-Russia economy and trade relations,” the ministry’s spokesman Shen Danyang said at a monthly press briefing. “We are closely monitoring and carefully analysing the development.”

“If there is a need from the Russia side, China is willing to offer necessary aids within its capacity,” he said, without elaborating.

But Shen noted that “Rouble’s exchange rate has begun to initially stabilise. China is fully confident that the Russian government has the capability to overcome the temporary difficulties and maintain stability of its domestic economic and financial situation.”

Russia’s economy is likely to contract this year, while Standard & Poor’s said it was considering downgrading the sovereign rating of Russia to junk status.


China and Russia’s bilateral economic and trade cooperation has been generally sound, Shen said, noting that total trade volume between the two nations grew 6.8 per cent last year to a record US$95.3 billion.

“Looking ahead, we remain fully confident about the prospect of Sino-Russia trade cooperation,” he said.

Although trade growth last year missed the annual growth target, Shen said exports performance was actually the best in the past few years.

The ministry will start publishing only yuan-denominated amounts for the foreign direct investment value starting next year, Shen said. That would follow the step of the Customs Bureau, which reported the 2014 trade situation earlier this month with most of the figures given only in yuan. Previously, the country’s key trade figures denominated in the US dollar had also been provided.

Asked by reporters on the sidelines of the reasons, Shen said: “This is an international common practice. Many countries do like this, in particular the big nations. You wouldn’t expect the US will report values in the yuan.”

He said doing so was also due to the need to eliminate volatilities that may be caused if the value is denominated in other currencies.

“Thirdly, it’s also due to consideration of yuan internationalization,” he said, without elaboration


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