China has been moving aggressively to take its place in the global system beyond serving as "factory to the world." In that connection, its efforts toward the international of the Yuan has not gone unnoticed (here
). Nor has Chinese efforts to develop its own alternative foundation for global trade within its One Belt One Road Initiative (e.g., here
, and her
But it is in the integration and expansion of its banking sector within global finance vectors that ought to merit more attention. To that end it may be useful to consider the Report: Toward Universal Financial Inclusion in China: Models, Challenges, and Global Lessons (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/ World Bank Group, 2018). The Report explained that it--
was jointly written by staff of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the World Bank Group (WBG) Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice. The primary drafting team comprised Dangwei Bai (PBOC), Rundong Jiang (PBOC), Tiandu Wang (PBOC), Jennifer Chien (WBG), and Douglas Randall (WBG). The PBOC initially drafted chapters 1, 4, and 5, and the WBG initially drafted chapters 2, 3, and 6. The entire drafting team has extensively discussed and jointly revised all con- tent in the report. (Toward Universal Financial Inclusion, supra, p. vi).
Toward Universal Financial Inclusion
is useful for a number of reasons. It evidences a level of integration between the Chinese banking sector and the rest of the world. It also points to the willingness of Chinese banks to learn from and coordinate their activities with the global banking and finance sectors. But it also suggests that way that China way be willing to take what it learns and deploy it for its own purposes and to advance its own interest. This last suggests the extent to which the Chinese banking sector has matured--no longer dependent, it has confidence enough to connect but not subordinate its practices. Lastly, the Report reflects the importance of the "New Era" thinking reflected in the 19th CPC Congress Report
--and especially its focus on the emerging principal contradiction facing China--"the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever growing needs for a better life. . . .The more prominent problem is that our development is unbalanced and inadequate. This has become the main constraining factor in meeting the people’s increasing needs for a better life." (19th CPC Congress Report
--pp. 9-10). It is to the amelioration of that basic contradiction--that is to the political project of governance undertaken through the leadership of the Communist Party, that it might be most useful to read and interpret the Report. To that end, Chinese leaders have specifically focused on the reform and broadening of the financial system. "We will deepen institutional reform in the financial sector, make it better serve the real economy, increase the proportion of direct financing, and promote the healthy development of a multilevel capital market." (Ibid., 30).
The Introduction (pp. 1-3) and Chapter 5 ("Remaining Financial Inclusion Challenges in China and the Way Forward") (pp. 69-73), both of which reflect the People's Bank of China thinking, follow. Chapter 4 ("China's Financial Inclusion Experience") is also worth reading carefully.