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Jim Rogers Talks China, Gold, Commodities

How does inflation factor in, though?

Well, there is inflation in China, I won't say it's serious, [but] there is more inflation than there should be. That's not good, and part of the reason is because there is a blocked currency. In my view, if they just let the currency rise it would help the inflation problem. They don't see it that way ... There's inflation here, too, even though we deny it. At least the Chinese acknowledge inflation. They may be understating it, but they certainly acknowledge it's there.

What about other emerging-market currencies like the Brazilian real. Would that be interesting?

I don't own the real. I should own the real -- it's certainly gone up a lot. They've started imposing exchange controls recently to try to keep their currency down, which is nearly always a mistake. Other than that, I don't see any other emerging-market currencies that I want to be buying anytime soon.

Any currency that you're actively going to avoid?

The ones I don't own.

Like the British pound?

The pound? No, no, I wouldn't buy the pound with your money. No, no, no, I am not interested in the pound at all. It's got a terrible, terrible fundamental situation just as we do in the U.S. I do own the U.S. dollar, but the pound I am avoiding. That's what I said: All the ones I don't own are the ones I would avoid.

What kind of growth do you see in China?

Rogers: I have no idea. I know that it's booming. I know that every time I go to China, and I've been going to China for 26 years -- the first time I went it was 1984 -- and I assure you China is growing very rapidly and doing a lot of things right. Whether it's 8% or 12%, I mean you look at the Indians. Who can believe the Indian [growth] number; certainly not me.

I've been going to India for many years, too, and I know they're not growing as fast as China, but they claim to be. The Indians wait for the Chinese to announce their growth numbers and then they announce theirs. They want to make sure they are in the same league. But all of these numbers are made up; you must understand that by now.

So when you said in 2007 that any smart investor should move to Asia, do you still feel that way?

Yes, I certainly feel that way. In my view the 21st century will be the century of Asia just as the 20th century was the century of the U.S.

And is China the country in Asia to look at, or are there other countries that you think will be more strong going forward?

I think that the 21st century will be the century of China. I didn't move to China. I moved to Singapore for a variety of reasons, namely because there's so much pollution in China, which by the way is going to be a great opportunity for somebody. The Chinese are spending huge amounts of money trying to clean up the pollution. But I didn't want to breathe all that bad air ... But, yes, I think there will continue to be fabulous opportunities in Asia.

Now we've heard recently the WikiLeaks claims that China is inflating its GDP and the country's growth isn't real. Do you think that's true?

I'm sure they are. We are too, everybody is. I mean America says there's no inflation. You must shop, you know there is inflation. I mean do you believe any government numbers from any government from anywhere in the world? If you do, you are going to go to the poorhouse very quickly. Most government numbers are phony.

How heavily invested are you in Asia?

A lot. I don't have a committee I have to answer to so I don't sit and figure these things out every day, but lots. I own the renminbi and I own lots.
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