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china's rapid accumulation of foreign exchange reserves and its policy implications
Author(s): 
Pages: 14-25
Year: Issue:  1
Journal: China & World Economy

Keyword:  GetLinkList(KeywordFilter('capital control financial liberalization foreign exchange reserve managed float')'kw''CJFQ');
Abstract: <正>In late February 2006, China surpassed Japan to become the world's largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. Beijing is now faced with the growing challenge of how to handle these vast reserves effectively. Although China's soaring foreign exchange reserves indicate that its overall strength has grown, they have created internal and external pressures on the balance of the economy, and introduced risks to the financial system. It is estimated in the present study that foreign exchange reserves of approximately USS 400bn in 2005 would have been appropriate under circumstances of a managed floating exchange rate regime and capital control. China's actual reserves have far exceeded its normal demand. The objective of China is to maintain an optimal level that maximizes net benefits as a whole. Four main policy options are available for China to achieve its target: spending and investing foreign exchange reserves, gradual liberalization of the capital account, diversification of foreign exchange reserves and a switch in holders of foreign exchange reserves. Spending and investing in foreign exchange reserves can be undertaken in combination with liberalization in the capital account, given careful consideration of the risks involved. Liberalization should be extensive but gradual so that companies and individuals can adjust to changes in financial markets and manage portfolios while avoiding unnecessary risks.
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