CWR > Volume 2(2); 2016 > Current Developments
Research Paper
Published online: September 1, 2016

The Globalization of the Chinese Yuan (CNY) and Its Rising Role in the International Currency System

Xin Chen
Xiamen University School of Law
422 South Siming Road, Xiamen, P.R. China 361005
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the past few years, the Chinese government has put the internationalization of CNY on the map. Besides regular reforms such as facilitating CNY trading settlement and relaxing capital accounts, China deployed the Pilot Free Trade Zone and the One Belt One Road policy to significantly expand investment channels for CNY. It was also considered as a response to the criticism of CNY's trade-driven model. CNY was developing from a trade currency to an investment currency and now has the potential to be a global reserve currency. The growth of CNY as an international currency could counterbalance the US dollar-dominated system and contribute to regional and international financial constancy. However, CNY internationalization is a double-edged sword. Inflow surges or disruptive outflows of capitals can give rise to macroeconomic fluctuation. With regard to the potential risks, it is suggested that Chinese authorities adopt more market-based measures and make the best of the international arrangements to protect the domestic financial integrity and stability.

Keywords : CNY/RMB, Currency Internationalization, Capital Account Liberalization, SDRs, Investment-Driven, Financial Risk

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