China’s New Role in the International Financial Architecture

Peter Drysdale, Adam Triggs, Jiao Wang

The rise of China is challenging the international financial architecture in a number of ways. This paper highlights three that are of critical importance: the challenge of absorbing massive Chinese savings; the incorporation of China into a cohesive global financial safety net; and the organisation of China’s participation in funding the demand for international investment projects. The global financial architecture needs to be reformed. But what role should China play? The paper defines the options open to China and the opportunities and barriers it will face. We argue that China can work with the established economic powers in reforming the existing architecture. At the same time, China seeks cooperation in building new institutions and organisations that fill gaps in the existing arrangements. But no matter how international financial diplomacy plays out in the near term, deep financial and economic reform at home will alone deliver China a central role in the international financial architecture. Domestic reform could also attend to some of the challenges that currently plague China’s impact on the system. The success or failure of these domestic reforms will be at the crux of the strength or fragility of the international financial architecture in the years ahead.