Don’t look now but China is continuing to move toward overtaking the U.S. as the world’s number one economic power. Official figures from China and the U.S. Commerce Department last week show that the far eastern country surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest trading nation in 2012, with U.S. imports and exports totaling about $3.82 trillion to China’s $3.87 trillion.

Despite the news of China’s continued progress, Asian currencies are on the decline, a fact that author Gordon Chang claims indicates a global currency manipulation war of China’s making.

“For years, policymakers thought it was not worth trying to get Beijing to stop manipulating the renminbi, yet that view was mistaken” Chang writes in Forbes. “They ignored the fact that the Chinese were undermining the consensus that the market should determine currency values.

“Now it seems it is too late to rescue the system of free-floating currencies.  ”

The ‘Real News’ panel Monday discussed China’s new trade dominance, but were joined by Chang to debate the legitimacy of their success. Watch a clip from the show below: