by Alex Christoforou, The Duran:
As a result of this ‘trade war’ China has let the yuan slide versus the USD which is a warning to Trump, specifically Mnuchin.
On the US dollar as reserve currency, that is a tough thing to break especially for China since the yuan is not freely convertible. China has renminbi and yuan; one they peg to the dollar and the other is circulated in China. Try converting USD to yuan in Paypal for example? The option is not there. Payments from the west to china sellers by Paypal (for example) are only in dollars.
It is a complex subject since China is the only foreign nation with a direct link into the US Treasury for purchase of US debt instruments, bypassing the Fed’s crooked relationship with its crooked primary dealers. This is done to manage China’s global trade relationships via the value of its currency which is somewhat pegged to the dollar (even if China and Trump claim otherwise) thus evading Federal Reserve gamesmanship. That’s why Trump messing with China is so dangerous, even if China has few options right now.
As a result of this ‘trade war’ China has let the yuan slide versus the USD which is a warning to Trump, specifically Mnuchin, popularly known as one of the most slippery dealers (IndyMAC and One West) to ever walk the earth (and China knows that). China is hoping that a lower yuan will offset tariffs just as the US has ‘weaponized’ the dollar and has imposed sanctions and tariffs on China. Because the sums are so vast with China holding so much US debt, and because China depends on exports to the west, China is somewhat boxed in.
So far China has been happy building ghost cities and high-quality infrastructure instead of blowing up their monetary reserves on the battlefield in useless wars as others do. If China wanted to blow up their trillion in US dollar reserves on the battlefield that would be very serious for the west indeed and so far, the Chinese leadership — and for that matter China’s people — have expressed no interest in doing so.
China could reduce its ties to the US dollar (USD) by making the yuan freely convertible, noting the IMF’s inclusion of the yuan in the SDR as a first step. Next, China could reduce its US foreign debt holdings but the question is where that money will go… where is a nation to park billions upon billions or even one+ trillion in surplus if not in the US dollar? That’s still the great quandary for China.
Besides the trade war, the US has engaged in Vicky Kagan-Nuland type jiggery-pokery in Hong Kong (perhaps inspired by John Bolton at the time?) attempting to pencilf China’s leadership in some very risky US gamesmanship along with Britain. And Trump gives the impression he is willing to screw the pooch and throw everything away in the China trade confrontation to make a point about US hegemony.
The point being…. what option does China have in this war? China has another option — rather than sell Treasury’s or fold to US trade demands — China could reveal its physical gold reserves and partially back the yuan with gold. (NB: return to a full gold standard in the present world economy is not possible – we are only discussing a partial backing, which has been the prevalent standard, ie partial not full, throughout modern monetary history until the adoption of a full by-decree currency by the US on August 15, 1971.)
In this scenario China could do the former Swiss thing and partially back the yuan with gold, just as the Swiss once partially backed the swiss franc with gold (40% reduced to 25% in 1997) until the Swiss franc threatened to become the world reserve currency usurping the USD by 1999.
What happened, the Swiss franc got so ‘strong’ against other currencies – and the USD – Swiss industries suffered. Also, the prospect then that the Swiss franc (now called the CHF) would usurp the USD as global reserve currency was absolutely terrifying to Swiss bankers who evidently prefer to be financial parasites instead of monetary leaders. 
Deflationary pressures, domestic costs, and tariff problems became so bad by 1999, Switzerland held a public referendum and went off gold in 2000. Then the bankers decided to sell almost two-thirds of their gold reserves — until the US financial collapse of 2008 — for reasons that are still unknown. One suspicion is that the Swiss monetary pharaohs foresaw fiat by-decree currency as a permanent feature and future condition for the global monetary system, but there are many more potential reasons.
The Swiss move to sell off 60% of its gold reserves from 2000 – 2008 was particularly surprising in light of Switzerland’s support for the gold carry trade. The old Swiss franc ended in 2000 and the current currency is the CHF.