The Role of London and Frankfurt in Supporting the Internationalisation of the Chinese Renminbi

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Abstract

Why do foreign countries support the internationalization of the renminbi (RMB) by establishing offshore RMB centres? The Chinese government has openly stated that internationalization of the country’s currency is one of its top priorities. International use of the RMB has already significantly increased in recent years. Yet, existing literature has almost exclusively focused on the structure of the Chinese economy and China’s domestic politics to explain RMB internationalization. With this article, we seek to fill a gap in the literature by analysing the reasons why foreign countries support RMB internationalization. Using the cases of Germany and the UK, we show that a combination of economic and political factors, partly in response to inducements from Beijing, best explain why foreign countries support Chinese efforts to internationalize the RMB. Some of these factors are similar to both countries, but there are also differences regarding the reasons why they support this key Chinese goal. We use the case of the establishment of offshore RMB centres to conduct our analysis, given the clear political nature of foreign countries allowing China to open them in their own territory. We thus also show that the Chinese currency is starting to display the characteristics of negotiated currencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-545
JournalNew Political Economy
Volume24
Issue number4
Early online date21 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2019

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