Review of Subacchi, “The People’s Money: How China Is Building a Global Currency”

For those interested in the RMB, here’s my book review:

This illuminating volume by economist Paola Subacchi provides an excellent overview of the past and future prospects of the Renminbi—the People’s money. Since the book was published, much has happened—including a massive shock to the global financial system and changes in the leadership in the United States as well as of multilateral institutions. However, the essential challenges high-lighted in the book continue to thwart China’s desire to advance the Renminbi from “dwarf currency” status—one seldom used in international transactions of all sorts, and little held as a reserve currency by central banks—to a substantial if not dominant global currency.

But Subacchi notes the reluctance of policy makers to cede control of the economy to external and market forces—which would be required with capital account lib-eralization and financial market development. It is this reluctance that consti-tutes the biggest impediment to a global role for the Renminbi.

In part, the reluctance is merely the latest manifestation of a long-running pitched battle between those economic policy makers in the PRC who push for greater use of market forces and those in favor of retaining state control. One interpretation of the push for a greater international role for the Renminbi is that it is a lever by which to induce greater exchange rate flexibility and capital account openness. Over the 1990s and 2000s, the momentum seemed to be with the pro-liberalization group. More recently, the pendulum has swung the other way, and even before the pandemic, economic policy makers had retrenched. As Subacchi concludes, China is now trying an untrodden path—elevating a currency while maintaining extensive controls on the capital account. She leaves as an open question whether this can be accomplished. I, along with others, similarly remain skeptical.

Back in 2015, I commented on a paper by Eswar Prasad on the prospects for the Renminbi:

The key question is then, what price in terms of policy autonomy are Chinese policymakers willing to pay in order to achieve renminbi internationalization? This question has been thrown in sharp relief by the faster than anticipated deceleration in growth. Will they be willing to give up the lever of exchange rate management in order to retain monetary policy independence? Will they relinquish control over the financial system (and ability to stem financial outflows) that would occur with capital account convertibility? The heavy-handed nature of intervention in the stock market over the summer of 2015 gives one pause for thought. We may see further backsliding on exchange rate flexibility (and cap-ital account liberalization) if foreign exchange reserves continue to decline…

The rapid ascent in CNY reserves was in 2018, with some resumption in 2020. From 2016 to 2019, Renminbi turnover rose from 4% to 4.3% (out of 200%). Some more data below:

 

Figure 1: Foreign exchange reserves allocated in USD as share of total (allocated, unallocated) reserves (blue), EUR (red), CNY (green). Pink shading is Trump administration. Source: IMF COFER, various issues, author’s calculations.

 

FIgure 2: Foreign exchange turnover share in April in USD (blue square), in EUR (red triangle), in CNY (green inverted triangle). Shares sum to 2. Source: BIS Triennial Survey, 2019.

The IMF provides additional information on the use of the Renminbi in “Reserve Currencies in an Evolving International Monetary System”.

Source: IIMF (2020).

 

71 thoughts on “Review of Subacchi, “The People’s Money: How China Is Building a Global Currency”

  1. Moses Herzog

    Thanks for making us aware of this book Menzie. I’m going to request it from my friendly local public library (if they don’t already have it on order). They are usually pretty awesome about filling in requests, even for stuff that might be regarded as slightly obscure writing or topics.

    My feeling on it has always been that the RMB could be a highly held reserve currency, if Beijing was ever willing to relinquish a healthy amount of their power. But for the foreseeable future I do not see that happening. Which believe it or not, I find to be sad~~because I have no doubt mainland Chinese would take a great deal of pride in that~~their home currency being one of the higher ranking reserve curreencies, but it’s something Beijing forfeits because of their white knuckle grip on power.

    Reply
    1. Barkley Rosser

      Basically agreeing with Moses here.

      I note that a major reason why the rmb (or is it the “CNY,” whatever that stands for, maybe “China N (?) Yuan”?) is not surging forward to become a leading reserve currency, despite the clearly large and important role it plays in international trade, is ongoing restrictions on capital movements in and out of PRC. I gather these have been getting reduced, and lots of Chinese commentators have been calling for them to be eliminated. But last I checked, and I stand to be corrected if not fully up to date on this, there remain some of these restrictions in place, and there is no way the Chinese currency, whatever one calls it, will be some leading international currency. Heck, it is not just the USD that is way ahead of it, but the euro still is.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Dysmalist

        In my experience, “CN” is a common abbreviation for the PRC, and “CNY” a common abbreviation for “Chinese Yuan.”

        I don’t see a wedge for the RMB in pie charts 3 or 6, “Cross Border Bank Claims” and “Imports Invoicing.” This tells me that other parties don’t want to be paid in RMB, so the PRC has a very long way to go to make the RMB a truly important international currency.

        Reply
      2. Menzie Chinn Post author

        Barkley Rosser: Both terms often used interchangeably, but to be precise, the currency is “the People’s Currency”, hence “Renmin bi”, while the unit of account is “yuan”.

        Reply
        1. Moses Herzog

          File this under the “who cares??” or “you’re over-analyzing it” heading, but my recollection of it (which doesn’t contradict anything you said) is yuan is used more in verbal conversations, where as on TV news stories or more formal situations Renminbi will be used verbally or in documents. I was actually trying to think of an analogy for how westerners would think of it. Maybe the analogy would be “dollar”= yuan and “USD”= Renminbi??? But even this doesn’t seem to quite capture it, or seem “the same”. “Greenback”= Renminbi?? But “Greenback” is pretty archaic at this point. It is said some words cannot be translated. Maybe Renminbi is “kinda sorta” in this group of words that’s hard to translate.

          Reply
        2. Barkley Rosser

          Menzie,

          This has long been my understanding, and I have even said it here on several occasions. The rmb is the money itself while yuan is it as unit of account, although it is my understanding that the written form of yuan is identical to what one finds for what are known in the US as “the Taiwan dollar” and also the Japanese yen, both of which do not have this curious dual form, both of those being the actual money as well as the unit of account.

          Reply
  2. Moses Herzog

    You know what else this brings to mind Menzie??~~~I mean this tug of war between mainland Chinese who want things to go more to market forces and freedom of capital. What it’s like being a Uni Prof in Hong Kong now. The internal feelings of conflict over a place they love, vs being able to do their actual jobs, must be about all they can handle. Nevermind people they may know who may have been hurt in the last couple years. Or do they have a choice, say if they want to run for the exit doors to Australia or Canada or wherever they can practice their trade with no restraints. I feel for them and hope they find their solution, even if it ends up being some middle ground.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      I know it so well the mindset of mainland Chinese. And some of them are pretty well-aware of the situation. For example I knew a guy who listened to shortwave radio and he would listen to hours of NPR on the internet everyday (and his oral, listening, reading English showed it too). He, among some others I knew, had better English lexicon, grammar etc than many deep south Americans you will run into, but anyway, the thing is MOST mainland Chinese have no idea what they are missing with true freedom. If you don’t know what you are missing, you can’t “miss” it in the emotional or nostalgic context. But Hong Kongers will know what they are now missing. So it’s going to be much rougher for them, because they have reference points that 98% of mainland Chinese don’t have.

      Reply
  3. ltr

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=F7Xa

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, United States, India, Japan and Germany, 1977-2020

    (Percent change)

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=F7Xg

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, United States, India, Japan and Germany, 1977-2020

    (Indexed to 1977)

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=Fas3

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and United States, 1977-2020

    (Percent change)

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=Fasn

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and United States, 1977-2020

    (Indexed to 1977)

    Reply
  4. ltr

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=yeYT

    January 15, 2018

    Real Broad Effective Exchange Rate for China, United States, India, Japan and Germany, 1994-2021

    (Indexed to 1994)

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=lv0w

    January 15, 2018

    Real Broad Effective Exchange Rate for China, United States, India, Japan and Germany, 2007-2021

    (Indexed to 2007)

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=mZQS

    January 30, 2018

    Total Reserves excluding Gold for China, United States, India, Japan and Germany, 2000-2021

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=FuEq

    January 30, 2018

    Total Reserves excluding Gold as a share of Gross Domestic Product for China, 2000-2020

    Reply
  5. ltr

    https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/weo-database/2021/April/weo-report?c=924,134,534,158,111,&s=NID_NGDP,NGSD_NGDP,&sy=2007&ey=2021&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

    April 15, 2021

    Total Investment & Gross National Savings as a Percent of GDP for China, Germany, India, Japan and United States, 2007-2021

    2021

    China

    Total Investment ( 43.7)
    Gross National Savings ( 45.2)

    Germany

    Total Investment ( 21.5)
    Gross National Savings ( 29.1)

    India

    Total Investment ( 30.1)
    Gross National Savings ( 28.9)

    Japan

    Total Investment ( 25.4)
    Gross National Savings ( 29.0)

    United States

    Total Investment ( 21.6)
    Gross National Savings ( 17.5)

    Reply
  6. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-07/17/c_1310067087.htm

    July 17, 2021

    Nearly 1.44 bln doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in China

    BEIJING — Nearly 1.44 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in China as of Friday, the National Health Commission announced on Saturday.

    [ Along with the nearly 1.44 billion doses of Chinese vaccines administered domestically, another 570 million doses have been distributed internationally. ]

    Reply
  7. David O'Rear

    Chinese financial technocrats – as opposed to political leaders – gain nothing by ceding power over the Renminbi. If it costs some degree of authority over the domestic economy, they (and their political masters) are not interested in becoming the next 5-10% share of central bank forex holdings.

    The Bretton Woods arrangements are not attractive to China, so they are building their own multilateral structures. Buying emerging market sovereign (mostly) debt is a ticket to greater influence. Belt and Road is a ticket to greater influence. The Chinese-run Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, unlike the ADB, is a ticket to greater influence.

    Eliminating capital controls?
    Bowing to a yield curve?
    Not interested, xiexie.

    Reply
  8. ltr

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/09/currency-wars-and-the-impossible-trinity-wonkish/

    May 9, 2011

    “Currency Wars” and the Impossible Trinity (Wonkish)
    By Paul Krugman

    Putin says we’re hooligans; Brazil accuses us of “currency wars”; and the Chinese are, well, being their usual charming selves. But what’s going on in the international currency scene?

    I don’t know why I didn’t think to put it this way before — and I don’t know if anyone else is saying this — but what we have here is a classic example of the Mundellian impossible trinity, * aka the trilemma, which says that you can’t simultaneously have free movement of capital, a stable exchange rate, and independent monetary policy. Here’s an illustration:

    [ https://static01.nyt.com/images/2011/05/09/opinion/050911krugman1/050911krugman1-blog480.jpg

    Free capital flow, Fixed exchange rate, Sovereign monetary policy ]

    ….

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_trinity

    Reply
    1. ltr

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/09/currency-wars-and-the-impossible-trinity-wonkish/

      May 9, 2011

      I don’t know why I didn’t think to put it this way before — and I don’t know if anyone else is saying this — but what we have here is a classic example of the Mundellian impossible trinity, aka the trilemma, which says that you can’t simultaneously have free movement of capital, a stable exchange rate, and independent monetary policy. Here’s an illustration:

      [ https://static01.nyt.com/images/2011/05/09/opinion/050911krugman1/050911krugman1-blog480.jpg

      Free capital flow, Fixed exchange rate, Sovereign monetary policy ]

      So, how does this apply to current issues? Advanced countries, very much including the United States, are weighed down by the aftereffects of the 2008 financial crisis; this has led to low investment returns. Meanwhile, emerging markets are in much better shape, so capital wants to go there.

      And this creates a problem for the EMs. They don’t want their currencies to rise sharply; Brazil is not at all happy about this:

      [ https://static01.nyt.com/images/2011/05/09/opinion/050911krugman2/050911krugman2-blog480.jpg

      Real effective exchange rate for Brazil, 1991-2011 ]

      But not letting the currency rise would be inflationary – that is, Brazil doesn’t want to give up on its independent monetary policy. So what’s the answer?

      All those accusations of hooliganism, currency wars, etc. are in effect demands that the trilemma be resolved by having America give up having an independent monetary policy — basically, that the Federal Reserve give up on trying to stabilize the US economy so that emerging markets aren’t faced with the uncomfortable tradeoff between massive appreciation and imported inflation. But this shouldn’t and won’t happen.

      The alternative, trilemma analysis suggests, is capital controls….

      — Paul Krugman

      Reply
  9. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-07/14/c_1310061514.htm

    July 14, 2021

    Green finance high on China’s agenda to achieve carbon neutrality

    GUIYANG — The Jianjiang River, the local “mother river” that runs through Tianzhu County of the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, was once a bother for locals as river blockages often caused heavy flooding and its pungent water was full of litter all year round.

    Environmental cleanup efforts had fallen short over the years as the county government, which has an annual fiscal revenue of less than 1 billion yuan (about 155 million U.S. dollars), could not afford high spending on the river’s ecological restoration.

    In 2018, the Guiyang branch of the Industrial Bank brought succor to the poverty-ridden county and provided a loan of approximately 1.17 billion yuan to support the Jianjiang River cleanup project. The riverbed was widened, embankments were reinforced, and a sewage treatment plant along the river was expanded.

    The river will be transformed into a waterscape scenic area featuring local customs and culture, as well as activities for locals and tourists including camping and rafting. It is expected to receive more than 400,000 tourists annually after construction is completed.

    Over an 11-year period, the scenic area is expected to bring more than 10,000 job opportunities, create over 4 billion yuan in revenue, and benefit approximately 110,000 surrounding residents.

    The timely loan is just one example of China’s booming green finance services.

    The Industrial Bank has been looking to green finance for a decade and a half, and was the first in China to adopt the Equator Principles, which advocate that financial institutions determine, assess and manage environmental and social risks in project finance….

    Reply
  10. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-07/17/c_1310067495.htm

    July 17, 2021

    China’s Guizhou targets 45 pct green economy share of GDP in 2021

    GUIYANG — Southwest China’s Guizhou Province aims to raise the green economy share of its gross domestic product (GDP) to 45 percent this year, according to the provincial development and reform commission on Saturday.

    Guizhou became one of China’s first national ecological civilization pilot zones in 2016. As the province with the highest number of natural world heritage sites in China, Guizhou, which acts as the ecological barrier of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the Pearl River, has been sticking to a high-end, green and low-carbon development model in recent years.

    In 2020, the green economy accounted for approximately 42 percent of the province’s GDP.

    The province has clarified that a “green economy” is an economy that promotes sustainable growth and improves people’s well-being. It is based on energy saving and ecological conservation, and demonstrates harmony and common prosperity between people and nature.

    The province aims to raise the green economy proportion of its GDP to over half by 2025.

    Reply
  11. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-07/17/c_1310066020.htm

    July 17, 2021

    World’s largest carbon trading market opens in Shanghai

    — China’s national carbon market started trading on Friday, a significant step to help the country reduce its carbon footprint and meet emission targets.
    — Carbon emissions by more than 2,000 power companies involved in the first trading group are estimated to exceed 4 billion tonnes per year, making the market the world’s largest in terms of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions covered.
    — Companies are assigned quotas for carbon emissions and can sell surplus emission allowances to those that expect to exceed their pollution quotas.
    — The start of the trading in the national carbon market came as China’s latest effort in realizing its goals of peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

    BEIJING — China’s national carbon market started trading on Friday, a significant step to help the country reduce its carbon footprint and meet emission targets, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE).

    Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng attended the launching ceremony in Beijing and announced the official start of the trading.

    Trading began at 9:30 a.m. at the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange, with the opening price for carbon quotas at 48 yuan (7.4 U.S. dollars) per tonne. The first transaction was priced at 52.78 yuan per tonne, with a total value of 7.9 million yuan.

    The first trading day concluded with total trading volume topping 4.1 million tonnes and a turnover of 210.23 million yuan. The transaction prices averaged 51.23 yuan per tonne.

    Carbon emissions by more than 2,000 power companies involved in the first trading group are estimated to exceed 4 billion tonnes per year, making the market the world’s largest in terms of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions covered.

    The scheme initially involves companies in the power industry. Carbon emitters from other sectors such as steel, paper making and aviation will be added gradually….

    Reply
    1. ltr

      Chinese are unlikely to embrace turning their currency into a commodity….

      [ Perfect and important.

      What China is about is sound growth domestically, and helping to build a benign international community.

      As for the dollar, that is often used as a weapon, used for fierce sanctions, and that possibility must be guarded against. President Obama removed sanctions on Cuba, but President Trump reapplied and added to sanctions on Cuba and even through an epidemic sanctions are being used to undermine the Cuban economy. ]

      Reply
    2. ltr

      Sure, it’s great if you want to be a hegemon…as long as it lasts…but it’s not so great if you want to continue to be the world’s manufacturer.

      [ Perfect.

      China never has sought and never will seek to be a hegemon. China is about building an international community of shared interests. President Xi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi repeatedly make this clear. ]

      Reply
      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        ltr: Yes, that’s why China is building airstrip-topped islands in the South Chin Sea, overflying Taiwan with military aircraft, playing chicken with US military aircraft in international airspace…

        Reply
        1. JohnH

          Funny, I don’t see any Chinese military aircraft flying around the Caribbean, where they are perfectly entitled to fly. So why is the US flying its war planes around the South China Sea? Defending China’s shipping lanes? Who’s really being provocative?

          Reply
          1. pgl

            Seriously? I bet you defended the Soviets putting nuclear weapons in Cuba. Or maybe you support the PRC taking over Taiwan and Indochina.

            Look idiot – ltr (aka Anne) is PRC bot. And you encourage this garbage? Go figure!

          2. ltr

            I don’t see any Chinese military aircraft flying around the Caribbean, where they are perfectly entitled to fly. So why is the US flying its war planes around the South China Sea?

            [ Perfect, of course. ]

          3. Barkley Rosser

            JohnH,

            But Chinese military vessels are now in the Caribbran.

            The shipping lanes in the South China Sea are global. They are not “Chinese.” You are simply out and out buying into Chinese propaganda. International Court of Justice has ruled against China on all their claims to various territories in the South China Sea. They are aggressively taking from, or trying to take from, such nations as the Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia, not to mention Taiwan, which you probably consider not to count given that PRC claims it. That is a pretty long list.

          4. JohnH

            Seriously Barkley? China has stepped up its aid to Caribbean nations, but naval and Air Force activity?

            According to R. Evan Ellis, research professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, “Even as it has increased its presence in the region, China has avoided directly challenging the United States in the Caribbean through rhetoric or military and political initiatives.”
            https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/08/world/americas/china-caribbean.html

            Meanwhile, how many times has the US intervened on China’s doorstep in the last 70 years? Lots!!!

          5. ltr

            I don’t see any Chinese military aircraft flying around the Caribbean, where they are perfectly entitled to fly. So why is the US flying its war planes around the South China Sea? Defending China’s shipping lanes? Who’s really being provocative?

            [ Perfectly so. ]

          6. Barkley Rosser

            JohnH,

            The major activity of US having air and naval activity near China 70 years ago was to protect Taiwan from invasion by China, still a major reason for that.

            Do you think that the US should not defend Taiwan against Chinese invasion? If so, please tell us one single thing that is not due to its great size (it has a space program and some other large scale scientific activities) where the PRC is performing better than Taiwan is. The latter is a functioning two-poarty democracy that is not putting ethnic minorities in “reeducation” camps, has a higher real per capita income, greater income equality, and a better performance on dealing with Covid-19 pandemic. But you support having that system replaced by that of the PRC? Really?

          7. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Barkley Rosser: I suspect JohnH believes that it’s okay for PRC to militarily resolve the unification problem. He/she can correct me if I am wrong.

          8. pgl

            “Meanwhile, how many times has the US intervened on China’s doorstep in the last 70 years?”

            So Vietnam is China’s door step? The Philippines is China’s door step? Korea is China’s door step? You just made Mike Pompeo’s day with that statement as it indicates you believe China owns all of East Asia. Even the PRC bot ltr has not gone that far.

          9. JohnH

            The US may not have much of a choice in the matter should China want reunification with Taiwan:

            “ The prospect of a clash in the Taiwan Strait for U.S. forces, all experts agree, is not a happy one. Taiwan is 100 miles from mainland China and 5,000 miles from the base of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii. Given the PRC’s formidable A2/AD capabilities, American forces would suffer grievous losses simply attempting to sail to the Strait, let alone what they’d suffer as the conflict escalated. It’s been an open secret in Washington for a long time that the China team regularly defeats the U.S. team in the Pentagon’s war games. In March of this year, Air Force Lt. General S. Clinton Hinote told Yahoo News that the U.S. team had lost “a number” of recent war games and that in the most recent game—last September—“it wasn’t just that we were losing, but were losing faster.””
            https://www.thedailybeast.com/wonder-where-world-war-iii-might-break-out-try-taiwan

            Personally, I don’t see Taiwan as having much strategic value to the US. Mostly it’s just a monument to US hubris and it’s ability to thumb its nose at China.

            I might be amenable to changing my mind if the chicken hawks running much of US foreign policy were willing to put the lives of their next of kin on the line, something they were unwilling to do in most of the pointless and futile wars waged in my lifetime.

  12. ltr

    Sure, it’s great if you want to be a hegemon…as long as it lasts…but it’s not so great if you want to continue to be the world’s manufacturer.

    [ China never has sought and never will seek to be a hegemon. China is about building an international community of shared interests. President Xi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi repeatedly make this clear.

    Building an international community of shared interests is what China is about.

    Surely and perfectly so. ]

    Reply
    1. Barkley Rosser

      ltr,

      You have been doing this since your days as anne on Economists View, but why do you think it is effective to simply repeat a post when somebody makes a killer comment about it? Menzie’s point about militarily aggressive actions the PRC is engaging in pretty much makes your comment repeating propogandistic drivel coming out of Xi and Wang look like the worthless garbage it is. So you just repeat the propogandistic drivel completely undermining your own credibility.

      Just to hammer Menzie’s point further, the most recent moves in the South China Sea have been against locations claimed by the Philippines, far closer to the Philippinees, with the International Court of Justice having ruled in the favor of the Philippines regarding. PRC is being an international criminal with these actions, which have completely alienated Duterte, who had been quite friendly with the PRC. Not anymore.

      We also have the numerous border incursions and incidents that have been made against India, to note another area beyond what Menzie mentioned, all of these offensives due to PRC. You have no credibility on this nonsense, and repeating rank lies just makes you look really bad.

      Reply
        1. JohnH

          Is pgl referring to the peace-loving US occupation of the Philippines, a pointless and ultimately futile military adventure that foreshadowed pointless and futile military adventurism in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan?
          https://www.huffpost.com/entry/remembering-a-forgotten-o_b_3447598

          Oh, and according UW Professor Alfred McCoy, it was in the Philippines where the US used that kinder, gentler torture technique known as water boarding and developed a sophisticated surveillance state to assure its “benevolent assimilation” of the country.

          But let’s forget all that (and Abu Ghraib) and just focus on the transgressions of others. After all, It’s more comfortable to think of America as the great protector of human rights…it makes future military adventurism so much easier and helps justify bloated “defense budgets.”

          Reply
          1. Barkley Rosser

            JohnH,

            Engaging in whataboutism here.

            Yes, US occupation of Philippines was bad. But US pulled out after WW II.

            Today it is China that is taking over territory of the Philippines, not US. You are aware of this, are you not, JohnH? If not, I suggest you check it out. It is China now that is playing the imperialist with the Philippines, not the US. You need to get a bit more up to date.

          2. JohnH

            Yeah, China and the Philippines are staunch enemies. NOT!
            https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/07/06/news/duterte-ph-counts-on-china-as-friend-partner-for-peace-and-development/1805975

            So, Barkley, if China is such an aggressor, how many countries have they intervened in in the last 70 years? And the US? The ratio is probably 100:1. China’s foreign aggressiveness is a figment of the foreign policy establishment’s imagination.

            But the myth does serve to justify bloated “defense” budgets.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            JohnH,

            You are out of date.

            Indeed, up until very recently Duterte was being very friendly with China. But China has turned him off with their more recent aggressive actions, see report from May 31, 2021 at

            https://a[news.com/article/south-china-sea-philippines-china-manila-coral-reefs-20e60c5b2d052e9d23da976ba7381ce2 with that such a long link I may have it wrong, but there are plenty of sources on this, just google “China occupies Philippines islands”

            You are right that up until quite recently, aside from threatening Taiwan, China has been basically peaceful towards neighbors (oh, there was that 1969 border conflict with USSR). The problem is that as it has turned more authoritatian with Xi Jinping deciding he will not step aside next year as his two predecessors did after ten years at the top, China has become not only more authoritatian and internally repressive as in Xinjiang, but it has become externally aggressive, with all these seizures of land from neighbors that have already been listed by several here.

            You need to get a bit more up to date, JohnH. Or are you a total CCP propaganda spouter like ltr? Do you also want to claim China is the biggest supporter/contributor to UN peacekeeping missions as well?

          4. pgl

            Barkley addressed your whataboutism here. If you want to go back 100 years, maybe we should blame the French for putting Germany in a bad economic box for Hitler. So comuld we get into the 21st century?

            It is really weird that you now defend China’s military adventures since there was this troll named JohnH who used to tell us that economic trade was China was some sort of severe evil. Ask your new BFF (ltr) if she agrees with your China bashing over trade.

          5. pgl

            Your evidence that China is peace loving and a friend of the Philippines is some hand shake between the PRC leader and Duterte? Lord either you are the dumbest troll ever or one dishonest POS. Duterte makes Trump look like a choir boy. Ever heard of his death squads? Is having a murderer in charge of a nation your idea of leadership? Seriously?

        2. JohnH

          Strangely, they don’t do these polls very often, but one done during O’bomber’s term found that people around the world consider the US to be the greatest threat to world peace by a wide margin.
          https://www.huffpost.com/entry/greatest-threat-world-peace-country_n_4531824

          More recently people found the US to be the greatest threat to democracy.
          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/05/us-threat-democracy-russia-china-global-poll

          It’s long past time for Americans to get their heads out of the sand and start seeing their country for what it is.

          Reply
          1. pgl

            JohnH has always been afflicted by Bruce Hall disease (linking to stories he has not read) so let me point this out from his 2nd link:

            ‘The survey was carried out by the Latana polling company between February and April, so a hangover effect of Donald Trump’s “America first” foreign policy may linger in the findings. Overall the results show perceptions of the US starting to improve from last year.’

            Well DUH – Donald Trump was a threat to democracy. Funny thing – this same JohnH kept telling us that Trump was a better President than Obama. Go figure!

          2. baffling

            not sure exactly what you are advocating for. you really seem to come off as simply the party of no. if you don’t get exactly what you want, simply take your ball and go home?

  13. ltr

    China is of course a peace loving nation and always will be. China in this vein is the chief contributor to United Nations peace-keeping forces. However, there was a time when China was brutalized repeatedly from abroad and such a time will never ever recur. So, China has a domestic defense force and China will always maintain a proper national defense. China appreciates what “never again” means.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      “why do you think it is effective to simply repeat a post when somebody makes a killer comment about it?”

      To which she ignored and repeated the same old spin. Anne (ltr) has zero credibility on these issues.

      Reply
    2. Barkley Rosser

      ltr,

      Worse than just repeating propaganda is posting outright lies.

      The PRC is NOT the top contributor to UN peacekeeping either monetarily or in terms of troops.

      Monetarily it is the US at about 22% of total funding. PRC is second at about 16%, followed by Japan, Germany, and so on, basically rank order in terms of aggregate nominal GDP.

      In terms of troops, as of 2020 the top three were Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Rwanda.

      So, ltr, sorry, you were just outright lying here. Shame on you.

      Reply
      1. Barkley Rosser

        ltr,

        I am not sure which is worse, repeating something you already posted or repeating something somebody else posted. Do you contest anything in my post?

        Look, I am more willing to praise China for many things, and periodically do so here. I just noted that I approve of the new carbon market China has started when you posted about it. I applaud their space program. I applaud their having overcome deep poverty. I applaud their scientific advances in many fields. I even applaud their program to give vaccines to other countries, although on that noting that unfortunately those vaccines do not seem to be all that effective.

        So I have some standing to call it when you defend things that they are doing that are not defensible, their aggression against neighbors and their internally repressive policies; And I certainly have standing to point out when you post things that are clearly just inaccurate.

        Let me note that there is a difference between more generalized propaganda and outright falsehoods. Thus when you post on how they want this fine and orderly global order, this is just propaganda, something that indeed they claim they want, and do want as long as it fits how they would like global order to be. And in some areas they have actually supported global order in a real sense more than the US has, especially during the years Trump was POTUS, who went out of his way to go against global order on many fronts. So, that is a matter of debate, a claim of virtue they make that can at least partly be defended, but also open to questioning as when people point out where they are not supporting that, as with aggressive actions against neighbors.

        But then there is the matter of just plain outright false claims. That is another matter. And repeating my statement pointing out a false claim most certainly does not remotely refute it. You are normally above that sort of thing, ltr. Really.

        Reply
      2. pgl

        Lying you say? Remember her job is to post the preapproved spin from the PRC. So she is just obeying orders.

        Reply
    3. baffling

      “China is of course a peace loving nation and always will be.”
      and this is exactly how the uighyers and those in tibet under current occupation. you are a joke with your propaganda.

      Reply
  14. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-07/14/c_1310060438.htm

    July 14, 2021

    China’s FDI inflow up 28.7 pct in H1

    BEIJING — Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, surged 28.7 percent year on year to 607.84 billion yuan, or 90.96 billion U.S. dollars, in the first half of this year, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.

    The value increased 27.1 percent from the same period in 2019.

    Foreign investment in the service industry came in at 482.77 billion yuan during the period, up 33.4 percent year on year, with foreign investment in the high-tech services sector rising 42.7 percent.

    Investment from the countries along the Belt and Road expanded 49.6 percent, and investment from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union rose 50.7 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, in H1….

    [ A proper reflection of international confidence in China, especially at such a fraught time. ]

    Reply
    1. pgl

      Good for her. Maybe she can straighten out the most pathetic team in baseball – pathetic in its disdain for its own fans and pathetic in the way its pitchers throw fast balls directly at the heads of batters.

      Reply
  15. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-06/24/c_1310026154.htm

    June 24, 2021

    China issues white paper on CPC’s practice in human rights protection

    BEIJING — China’s State Council Information Office on Thursday issued a white paper * on the practice of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in respecting and protecting human rights….

    China has been an active participant in matters of international human rights, providing a Chinese contribution to global human rights governance and progress, and working with other countries to forge a global community of shared future, according to the white paper.

    China has sent more than 40,000 military personnel to participate in about 30 UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Lebanon, Cambodia, Libya, and other countries and regions, said the white paper.

    The country now ranks first among the permanent members of the UN Security Council in terms of the number of peacekeepers dispatched, and is the second largest fund contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping actions, it added….

    Reply
  16. ltr

    “China is of course a peace loving nation and always will be. China in this vein is the chief contributor to United Nations peace-keeping forces.”

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-06/24/c_1310026154.htm

    June 24, 2021

    China issues white paper on CPC’s practice in human rights protection

    China has sent more than 40,000 military personnel to participate in about 30 UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Lebanon, Cambodia, Libya, and other countries and regions, said the white paper.

    The country now ranks first among the permanent members of the UN Security Council in terms of the number of peacekeepers dispatched….

    Reply
    1. Barkley Rosser

      ltr,

      Yes, 40,000 sounds like a big number, and it is more than the US has ever provided, which has never done so very much with all the anti-UN sentiment that conservatives in the US has been quite strong.

      But we have far smaller Canada, which has been under major critiicism from the Chinese government. It is behind China now in current personnel involved,. But over time its contribution of personnel totally dwarfs that 40,000 nimber from far-more-populous China has. By 1988 Canada had provided more than twice that total. I do not have the the total, but it well exceeds 100,000 overall.

      BTW, the current move of the US is to pull back from foreign military activity, most notably with the current withdrawal from Afghanistan, which even the PRC is apparently nervous about, not pleased with the idea of a Taliban takeover of the place, while PRC is engaging in outright invasions of neighboring nations, seizing their territories in blatant violation of international law and court judgments.

      To make a comparison, if the US were to be doing now what the PRC is, it would be seizing islands from various Caribbean nations or grabbing chunks of territory from either Canada or Mexico. Sure, a century ago the US did send troops into lots of nations in the Western Hemisphere without invitation. But those days are long past. It is China invading its neighbors.

      The whataboutism argument of the CCP and those spouting its propaganda here is that it is OK for China to behave as an imperialist now because once upon a time in the past the US (and UK) did so.

      Reply
  17. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-06/24/c_1310024904.htm

    June 24, 2021

    The Communist Party of China and Human Rights Protection — A 100-Year Quest
    From State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China

    Contents

    Foreword

    I. For People’s Liberation and Wellbeing
    II. The Principle of Respecting and Protecting Human Rights Embedded in Governance
    III. Ensuring the People’s Position as Masters of the Country
    IV. Making Comprehensive Progress in Human Rights
    V. Protecting the Basic Rights of Citizens in Accordance with the Law
    VI. Advancing Human Rights Around the World
    VII. Adding Diversity to the Concept of Human Rights

    Conclusion

    Reply
  18. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-06/24/c_1310026154.htm

    June 24, 2021

    China issues white paper on CPC’s practice in human rights protection

    BEIJING — China’s State Council Information Office on Thursday issued a white paper * on the practice of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in respecting and protecting human rights….

    For a hundred years, the CPC has committed itself to peaceful development and common progress. China is firm in its international stance — to safeguard world peace and seek progress through cooperation, ensuring human rights with the benefits deriving from development, according to the white paper.

    China has been an active participant in matters of international human rights, providing a Chinese contribution to global human rights governance and progress, and working with other countries to forge a global community of shared future, according to the white paper.

    China has sent more than 40,000 military personnel to participate in about 30 UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Lebanon, Cambodia, Libya, and other countries and regions, said the white paper.

    The country now ranks first among the permanent members of the UN Security Council in terms of the number of peacekeepers dispatched, and is the second largest fund contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping actions, it added….

    Reply
  19. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-06/24/c_1310026154.htm

    June 24, 2021

    China has been an active participant in matters of international human rights, providing a Chinese contribution to global human rights governance and progress, and working with other countries to forge a global community of shared future, according to the white paper.

    China has sent more than 40,000 military personnel to participate in about 30 UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Lebanon, Cambodia, Libya, and other countries and regions, said the white paper.

    The country now ranks first among the permanent members of the UN Security Council in terms of the number of peacekeepers dispatched, and is the second largest fund contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping actions, it added…. *

    * http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-06/24/c_1310024904.htm

    Reply
    1. pgl

      “China has sent more than 40,000 military personnel to participate in about 30 UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Lebanon, Cambodia, Libya, and other countries and regions, said the white paper.”

      Are you this incredibly clueless? The one thing the citizens of Indochina agree on is that do not trust anyone from China. For centuries, the Indochinese have hated foreign presence be it Belgian, French, America but especially the dreaded Chinese.

      You and your new BFF JohnH are making some of the dumbest comments ever.

      Reply
    2. Barkley Rosser

      ltr,

      I grant that PRC is ahead of the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council in peacekeeping troops it has provided, although, of course, its population exceeds that of all the other four combined. I note that this white paper does agree with my earlier point that China is second in funding for this, with the US first.

      For numbers as of August 31, 2020, the UN had China in ninth place for personnel provided. I previously noted that the top 3 are Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. The remaining five nations ahead of China in order are Nepal, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and Indonesia.

      Source is from the UN itself, not Xinhuanet.

      peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/01_summary_of_contributions_28.pdf

      Reply
  20. pgl

    OK we have this weird fight between the PRC bot ltr joined by her new BFF JohnH v. Barkley over whether the PRC is trying to set up shop in the Caribbean. Of course JohnH is his usual inept self uttering junk that only Mike Pompeo could enjoy (Vietnam and South Korea are China’s door step – seriously). Now China is exercising soft power in the Caribbean but will this translate into a military presence? Not that I trust any one in Rumsfeld’s camp but I thought Barkley might appreciate this:

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16813/china-military-caribbean

    Reply
  21. David O'Rear

    Why are there no PLAAF flights around the Caribbean Sea?
    Because that would be playing to America’s strengths.

    China doesn’t do that.

    Instead, it defines the rules of the game in a new way, and then uses access to the domestic market to invite others to play, by China’s rules.
    Very much like the USA did under the Bretton Woods system.

    Reply
  22. David O'Rear

    Why does China send UN peace keeping troops abroad in larger numbers than other Security Council members?
    Because the People’s Liberation Army has very, very close to zero officers and NCOs with actual combat experience.

    Remember the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979-88? Even if you don’t, the PLA does … and it was deeply embarrassing…

    Reply

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