Banking Reform in China: An Assessment in Macroeconomic Perspective
China has been delaying its adoption of a flexible exchange rate system with free capital flows. The main excuse is that its financial sector is still in its fragile stage and is not able to withstand any external shocks. A big bang approach towards such liberalization will only lead to financial crisis as observed by experiences of many Asia-Pacific countries during the Asian Financial Crisis. With this in mind, this paper attempts to uncover the approach and strategies adopted by China in its banking reform since 1978 and then assess these reform measures in macroeconomic perspective. The paper argues that since China is still lingering on export-oriented strategy in promoting economic growth and monetary independence for demand management is still a long way to go, it is still in China’s best interest not to adopt a flexible exchange rate system at this point of time. As to capital account liberalization, the main focus is to engineer a controlled and systematic capital outflows through outward investment in particular portfolio investment. At the micro level, China should continue its banking reforms until the financial sector is strong enough to withstand the severe pressure of globalization. By then, will China, with its matured financial system be ready to consider the adoption of a flexible exchange system with free capital flows.
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