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May 13, 2014 AT 6:53 AM
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is pressing his counterparts in Beijing this week to ease their grip on the yuan after a sharp drop this year, but the Chinese now look to be in a strong position to argue the currency is reflecting market forces. China says the yuan is near equilibrium after a rise of nearly one-third since its 2005 revaluation and as it adapts to what President Xi Jinping says is the "new normal" of more moderate growth -- and has support even from former critics. Their calculation was based on a World Bank report that, based on purchasing power parity, China would this year overtake the United States to become the world's biggest economy.