Over the past five years China has emerged as the world's largest global surplus economy; indeed by 2007–08 the size of its surplus relative to its GDP was of a magnitude unprecedented for a large trading economy. This development is especially surprising since in the first twenty-five years of economic reform China's trade and current account surpluses were quite small by East Asian standards, averaging less than 2 percent of GDP.
This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the key economic challenges facing the Chinese authorities in light of the still undervalued exchange rate, the large build-up of foreign exchange reserves, and more recently the sharp decline in economic growth. It analyzes the implications of China's exchange-rate policy for the effectiveness of monetary policy, the transition to a commercially oriented banking system, the evolving structure of output and demand, and the risk of protectionism abroad. The policy-options portion of the study takes account of the significant real effective appreciation of the renminbi over the past fifteen months and will contrast the pros and cons of a "stay-the-course" policy with that of a bolder, "three-stage" approach that would seek to maintain recent progress and to reduce even further the undervaluation of the renminbi.
Chapters are provided for preview only.
1. Evolution of China's Exchange Rate Regime in the Reform Era
2. Challenges Facing the Chinese Authorities under the Existing Currency Regime
3. Policy Implications and Options References