As an economic superpower, China has become an increasingly important player in the international monetary system. Its foreign exchange reserves are the largest in the world and its exchange rate policy has become a major subject of international economic diplomacy. The internationalization of the renminbi (RMB) raises critical questions in international policy circles: What kinds of power is China acquiring in international monetary relations? What are the priorities of the Chinese government? What explains its preferences?In The Great Wall of Money, a distinguished group of contributors addresses these questions from distinct perspectives, revealing the extent to which China's choices, and global monetary affairs, will be shaped by internal political factors and affect world politics. The RMB is a likely competitor for the dollar in the next couple of decades; its emergence as an important international currency would have substantial effects on the balance of power between the United States and China. By illuminating the politics of China’s international monetary relations, this book provides a timely account of the global economy, the role of the renminbi in international relations, and the trajectory of China’s continuing ascendency in the coming decades.Contributors: Gregory Chin, York University; Benjamin J. Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara; Eric Helleiner, University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs; Yang Jiang, Danish Institute for International Studies; Jonathan Kirshner, Cornell University; Bessma Momani, University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs; David Steinberg, University of Oregon; Andrew Walter, University of Melbourne; Hongying Wang, University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs
Introduction: The Politics of China's International Monetary Relations
by Eric Helleiner and Jonathan Kirshner1. The China Question: Can Its Rise Be Accommodated?
by Benjamin J. Cohen2. The Hidden History of China and the IMF
by Eric Helleiner and Bessma Momani3. Why Has China Accumulated Such Large Foreign Reserves?
by David A. Steinberg4. Global Imbalances and the Limits of the Exchange Rate Weapon
by Hongying Wang5. China's Engagement with International Macroeconomic Policy Surveillance
by Andrew Walter6. The Limits of China’s Monetary Diplomacy
by Yang Jiang7. China’s Rising Monetary Power
by Gregory Chin8. Regional Hegemony and an Emerging RMB Zone
by Jonathan KirshnerReferences
"As Helleiner (Univ. of Waterloo, Canada) and Kirshner (Cornell Univ.) affirm, discussions of China's contemporary and potential future roles in global monetary relations have usually been framedthrough the narrow lens of economic analysis. By stressing power and politics as essential determinants of Chinese monetary policies, the contributors to this timely volume's eight chapters seek to redress this deficiency, approaching the subject from a wide range of perspectives. The essayists include both China scholars and international monetary specialists, and they focus widely on the various types of international monetary power the People's Republic of China (PRC) party-state is acquiring. These include financing payment imbalances; steadily gaining greater influence in key institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund; and fostering the global status of China's currency (renminbi). At issue is whether China will basically accept the existing rules of the international monetary game, demand significant changes in those rules, or breakcompletely with the current system. The divergent explanations in these essays of the PRC's priorities and preferencesmirror Beijing's own policy ambivalence. They suggest that although China has cautiously accepted but frequently critiqued the status quo, it has thus far conspicuously failed to offer any grand scheme to replace it."
"Eric Helleiner and Jonathan Kirshner's edited volume, which examines the role, rationale, and impact of decisionmaking in China’s monetary and financial sectors, represents an important contribution to the literature on Chinese political economy. Offering readers an accessible examination of the nexus of political economy and power politics in China, this is a valuable addition to a rather under-researched field (though published material on business and management is quite extensive). While industry stakeholders and commentators have written extensively on China’s currency reform, exchange rate policy, and IMF’s Special Drawing Rights Basket, they offer little insight into the why—the motivations, players, andpriorities—behind China’s approach to monetary policy and relations. In this volume, each chapter blends an impressive combination of research methods, expertise, and critical insights, filling this gap effectively."
"This excellent collection of essays, derived from a conference held in 2012, centres on the question posed by its editors, Eric Helleiner and Jonathan Kirshner, in the introduction: broadly speaking, will the world's second largest economy prove to be a 'taker', ‘maker’ or ‘breaker’?"
"The Great Wall of Money is a timely and rigorous study on the role that power and politics play in forging China's international monetary relations.... [It] is highly recommended for scholars of international political economy of money and China specialists. As the book examines both international and domestic sources of China's international monetary policy, it will leave the reader with a deep sense of carefulness when it comes to the temptation to make sweeping judgements about China's rising monetary power."
"The Great Wall of Money offers a theoretically informed analysis based on in-depth research on the likely impact of China's rise on international economic affairs."
Robert S. Ross, Boston College, author of Chinese Security Policy