Digital Currency Gives China a New Tool to Strike Back at Critics

About This Source - Bloomberg QuickTake: Now

Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

It was founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981, with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar, and a 12% ownership investment by Merrill Lynch.

Recent from Bloomberg QuickTake: Now:

  • U.S. Job Growth Misses All Estimates; Unemployment Rate at 6.1%
  • 3D Printing: The Answer to Affordable Housing Shortage?
  • Covid-19: How Concerning is India’s ‘Double-Mutant’ Variant?
  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Digital Currency Gives China a New Tool to Strike Back at Critics” – below is their description.

    Digital yuan is giving China a new tool to strike back at critics. The country has recently sought ways to counteract U.S. sanctions after the Trump administration targeted Chinese officials and companies over policies from the South China Sea to Xinjiang. Hong Kong’s leader can’t access a bank account and a top executive at Huawei Technologies Co. is detained in Canada. Even China’s state-run banks are complying with U.S. sanctions.

    That’s one reason the Biden administration is starting to study whether China’s development of a digital currency will make it harder for the U.S. to enforce sanctions, Bloomberg reported earlier this month. The digital yuan, which could see a wider roll out at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, is also spurring the U.S. to consider creating a digital dollar.

    But instead of challenging U.S. dollar dominance and neutralizing sanctions, the digital yuan appears potentially more geopolitically significant as leverage over multinational companies and governments that want access to China’s 1.4 billion consumers. Since China has the ability to monitor transactions involving the digital currency, it may be easier to retaliate against anyone who rebuffs Beijing on sensitive issues like Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

    “If you think that the United States has a lot of power through our Treasury sanctions authorities, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” Matt Pottinger, former U.S. deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration, said last week at a hearing of the government-backed U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “That currency can be turned off like a light switch.”

    So far China has mostly resisted hitting foreign firms in response to U.S. actions on companies like Huawei, holding off on releasing an “unreliable entity list” designed to punish anyone who damages national security. Any move to cut off access to the digital yuan would carry similarly high stakes, potentially prompting foreign investors to pack up and leave.

    But Beijing has gone after companies like Hennes & Mauritz AB for statements on human-rights issues, even while government officials have been careful to avoid directly endorsing a boycott. In a Weibo post last month, the Communist Party Youth League declared: “Want to make money in China while spreading false rumors and boycotting Xinjiang cotton? Wishful thinking!”

    Controlling access to China’s massive market remains the best way for Beijing to hit back at the U.S.: As long as Chinese companies still want access to the broader financial world dominated by the U.S. and its allies, Washington can effectively wield sanctions against nearly anyone who doesn’t operate exclusively in China’s orbit. And Beijing has little incentive to shun the dollar.

    While President Xi Jinping has called for greater self-sufficiency in key technologies like advanced computer chips, a financial decoupling from the U.S. would only hurt China’s economy and potentially leave the Communist Party more exposed to destabilizing attacks. After Xi effectively ended Hong Kong’s autonomy last year with a sweeping national security law, the U.S. refrained from cutting off the territory’s ability to access U.S. dollars due to the potential devastation to the global financial system.

    The Chinese currency now makes up about 2% of global foreign exchange reserves compared with nearly 60% for the U.S. dollar, and most of Beijing’s trade and loans in Xi’s Belt-and-Road Initiative are disbursed in dollars.

    Any serious challenge to the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency would also require significant policy changes from China, including lifting capital controls that help the Communist Party keep a lid on sudden outflows that could trigger a financial crisis. Even if the digital yuan could be transacted more cheaply outside of U.S.-controlled global payment systems, it’s unclear if anyone would use it.

    Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel

    Got a comment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below. Please note comments are moderated before publication.

    In This Story: Beijing

    Beijing, China’s sprawling capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

    2 Recent Items: Beijing

  • President Xi to IOC: China is confident to host Games
  • Five stories you need to know for May 6, 2021
  • In This Story: Canada

    Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area.

    Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world’s longest bi-national land border. Canada’s capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

    Various Indigenous peoples inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years before European colonization. The Canada Act 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British Parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with a monarch and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the Cabinet and head of government.

    As a highly developed country, Canada has the seventeenth-highest nominal per-capita income globally as well as the thirteenth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks.

    2 Recent Items: Canada

  • Canadian MPs calls on Trudeau government to support waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents
  • Trudeau: Canada is looking for COVID-19 vaccine patent ‘consensus’
  • In This Story: Donald Trump

    Donald John Trump was the 45th President of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School.

    5 Recent Items: Donald Trump

  • Republicans battle Big Tech, the Biden agenda, and themselves | FOX News Rundown
  • Five stories to know for May 7
  • Giuliani’s Allies Demand Trump Pay Him for 2020 Election Representation
  • Mark Meadows: Why are all of Big Tech’s mistakes on one side of the aisle?
  • Twitter suspends accounts for evading Trump ban
  • In This Story: Hong Kong

    Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

    Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

    3 Recent Items: Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong singer composed a song about the history of CPC
  • HK activist Joshua Wong to be jailed for 10 more months over unauthorised Tiananmen Square vigil
  • Former Disney ‘Lion King’ dancer turns Hong Kong Chinese-pop singer
  • Leave a Comment