Lex: Currency wars

Beijing was asking for it. On Friday a central bank official invited the US to refrain from "politicising" China's currency policy. On Sunday, closing the annual meeting of lawmakers, Premier Wen did little else, with a series of pointed allusions to the "Three Ts" dominating the two nations' relationship: Taiwan, Tibet and the trade surplus. Still, the US retaliation - 130 Congressmen urging President Obama to label China a currency manipulator, for the first time in 16 years - is a rush of blood to the head. Signatories must realise that the more pressure you put on China to do anything, the less likely it is to do it. Ben McLannahan analyses the trends.