IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/tuedps/263.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

China: a stabilizing or deflationary influence in East Asia?The problem of conflicted virtue

Author

Listed:
  • Schnabl, Gunther

Abstract

Rapidly growing Chinese exports are middle-tech - and increasingly high-tech - manufactured goods. China runs a huge and growing bilateral trade surplus with the United States, and the position of Japan has changed radically from being a net exporter to China in the 1980s and most of 1990s to being a net importer today. China's smaller East Asian industrial competitors such as Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore face fairly difficult readjustment problems. However, China is a huge importer of primary products and industrial raw materials and runs large import surpluses with the ASEAN group. On the macroeconomic side, China has been a stabilizing influence. While maintaining steady high growth and exchange rate stability at 8.3 yuan per dollar since 1994, it has largely avoided, and thus dampened, the business cycles of its East Asian trading partners. But there are potential clouds on this horizon. Since 1995, China has run with moderate multilateral trade surpluses coupled with large inflows of foreign direct investment. The resulting balance of payments surpluses have led to a rapid buildup of liquid dollar claims on foreigners - both in official exchange reserves and, less obviously, in stocks held privately or in China's nonstate sectors. This increasing private dollar overhang leads to what we call the syndrome of conflicted virtue. If there is no threat that the renminbi will appreciate, private portfolio equilibrium for accumulating and holding both dollar and renminbi assets can be sustained. However, foreigners, particularly Japanese, are upset with China's excessive mercantile competitiveness. They are urging China's government to appreciate the renminbi - and show greater future exchange rate flexibility, which could lead to repetitive appreciations. The result would be severe deflation throughout China's economy and a zero-interest liquidity trap - as in Japan, when forced into repeated appreciations of the yen in the 1980s into the mid 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnabl, Gunther, 2003. "China: a stabilizing or deflationary influence in East Asia?The problem of conflicted virtue," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 263, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuedps:263
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/40332/1/382844122.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    2. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The East Asian Dollar Standard, Fear of Floating, and Original Sin," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 331-360, August.
    3. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2003. "Synchronised Business Cycles in East Asia and Fluctuations in the Yen/Dollar Exchange Rate," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(8), pages 1067-1088, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:tuedps:263. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/wftuede.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.