Two senators are pressing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to punish China’s currency until the Asian power scales back its overseas hacking.
It’s thought Chinese hackers were behind a recent breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that exposed 4 million federal workers’ records.
“This recent cyberattack is one of China’s most brazen yet,” said Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration with Sinema rises Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race Guns Down America's leader says Biden 'has simply not done enough' on gun control MORE (D-N.Y.) in a statement. “It is long past time for the international community to rally together and make crystal clear to the Chinese government that if they want to be treated as a leading nation on the global stage, then they need to start acting like it.”
Schumer and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case MORE (R-S.C.) believe the IMF, an international organization focused on global financial stability, is one place the global community can stand up to China.
On Tuesday, the two wrote IMF head Christine Lagarde, asking her to deny China's attempts to make the yuan a reserve currency.
The IMF is considering including the yuan as part of its emergency lending fund. Designating the yuan as a reserve currency would make it stronger in the international marketplace.
“Until China curtails their hacking operations, the IMF shouldn’t designate the yuan as a reserve currency,” Schumer said. “We need to punish China’s bad behavior, not reward it.”
In their letter, Schumer and Graham argue that Chinese hacking is part of a broad scheme to disrupt the global economy.
The recent OPM hack, they said, is “just the latest in a litany of egregious actions, or inactions, that reflect the government’s lack of an ability to participate in an honest and transparent manner on the global stage.”
Chinese hackers have also been tied to mammoth breaches at several health insurers earlier this year that compromised more than 90 million Americans’ data.
“This behavior cannot be rewarded by the international community, but more importantly, the Chinese government cannot be trusted to uphold international market standards without demonstrated evidence of a commitment to reform,” they added.
The two lawmakers also maintained that China is intentionally undervaluing its own currency using methods, such as refusing to tie yuan interest rates to the market.
“These current deficiencies, coupled with China’s most recent role in the hacking of personally identifiable records of over 90 million Americans, must be instructive to your views and validation that China remains a real threat to the stability of the IMF and our global economy at large,” Schumer and Graham told Lagarde.