BEIJING - China should let the yuan float within a wider range in a gradual process over the next five years, an official at a local branch of the central bank said in comments published on Thursday.
Wang Yong, with the central bank's training school in Zhengzhou, Henan province, also said the People's Bank of China should scale back its intervention in the foreign exchange market so long as the yuan does not bump up against the limits imposed on its daily fluctuations.
The Chinese yuan can now move within a daily range of 0.5 percent up or down from a reference rate set by the central bank, but has rarely approached those limits. On July 21, 2005, China abandoned a decade-old peg to the US dollar by allowing its currency to fluctuate against a basket of currencies and appreciate by 2.1 percent. Since then, the yuan has strengthened further, though slowly, and risen more than 21 percent against the greenback.
The daily range should be expanded to 1 percent next year and 2 percent in 2015, Wang said in an article published in the Shanghai Securities News.
While his comments do not necessarily reflect official thinking, they do highlight a range of differing views in China about how to reform the yuan's exchange rate regime.
Wang echoed the country's top leadership in saying that Beijing should resist any calls for rapid appreciation. "China should not and cannot pay for the global financial crisis, and it has no reason to act according to other people's moods," he wrote.