Cooperation is way forward: Survey

Updated: 2012-06-21 08:26

By Li Xiaokun and Cui Haipei (China Daily)

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Yuan to replace dollar?

The survey found that 45.7 percent of ordinary Chinese believe that the yuan will replace the US dollar as the dominant international currency, while 50.1 percent of the intellectual group said the yuan will become an internationalized currency on behalf of Asia, but would not replace the dollar.

Cooperation is way forward: Survey

Japan and China began direct trading of their currencies on June 1 in Shanghai and Tokyo, as part of their efforts on currency cooperation to boost the integration of Asian economies. Zhang Chunlei / Xinhua

Japan and China started direct trading of their currencies on June 1 in Shanghai and Tokyo as part of their efforts on currency cooperation to boost the integration of Asian economies.

Analysts said that the cooperation process is likely to break new ground as a result of the cooperation and competition between the yuan and the yen.

However, 48.7 percent of the ordinary Japanese and 60 percent of intellectuals believed the yuan will be "further internationalized but will not dominate the region".

Chinese optimism largely stems from the country's rapid economic growth, having overtaken Japan as the largest regional economy in 2011, while Japan suffered a heavy blow as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in March of that year, said Huang.

Japanese public opinion on the yuan seems more objective, because it will take a long time to fully overtake the US, and "we should not be too optimistic about the internationalization of the yuan," according to Huang. "We still don't know if the US will fall behind, and China may not necessarily replace it, even it rivals the US in terms of GDP," he added.

Still, it is possible that the Chinese currency will take the place of the US dollar and it is inevitable that it will enter the international arena more fully, said Pang Zhongpeng, a researcher at the Japan Studies Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Actually, China has been showing the momentum of a major power amid the latest global economic crisis."

Bilateral economic optimism

Despite the differing views of the neighbors, both sides are optimistic about the Chinese economy, the world's second-largest, over the long term.

A greater number of common Chinese respondents, 53.8 percent compared with 52.7 percent in 2011, believed that China will equal the US in terms of economic power by 2050. Among intellectuals, that figure rose to 38.2 percent from 33.5 percent in 2011.

Still, 31.3 percent of Chinese students and teachers expressed a conservative attitude on this issue, saying the economy will not be able to maintain its current growth rate over the long term and compete with the US.

The Japanese intellectuals remained confident about the prospects for the Chinese economy by 2050, with 42.7 percent saying China will "be as competitive as the US in terms of economic power". Roughly one-third of common Japanese, 32.4 percent, supported that belief, with 32.6 percent expressing a pessimistic view on Chinese economic prospects.

In the face of a stronger Chinese economy, an overwhelming majority of Japanese intellectuals, 84.4 percent, viewed it as being beneficial to Japan. However, only 43.4 percent of ordinary Japanese agreed, with 41.8 percent viewing China's development as a threat.

"The conservative views of the Chinese intellectuals showed they are more rational and have a greater understanding of the Chinese economy," said Zhou Yongsheng.

Similarly, the views of the well-educated Japanese on the impact of Chinese economic growth on their country reflected their in-depth knowledge of the relationship, he said.