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As the largest holder of US debt, China has the power to lead the dollar like a sheep to slaughter, which is precisely what Hu Jintao signaled earlier this week when he derided the dollar as a “product of the past” and called for its replacement with a new global monetary system based around the Chinese yuan. Indeed, when US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gave a speech in which he claimed that the US dollar was strong, Chinese onlookers responded by bursting into laughter.