Asia

China's State Press Calls for 'Building a de-Americanized World'


Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), speaks at the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai, on June 28

Photograph by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), speaks at the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai, on June 28

“It is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.” As nations around the world fret over the U.S. budget impasse, that is the conclusion of a not-so-subtle commentary published by China’s official Xinhua News Agency on Oct. 14.

Key among its proposals: the creation of a new international reserve currency to replace the present reliance on U.S. dollars, a necessary step to prevent American bumbling from further afflicting the world, the commentary suggests.

“The cyclical stagnation in Washington for a viable bipartisan solution over a federal budget and an approval for raising the debt ceiling has again left many nations’ tremendous dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community highly agonized,” says Xinhua. “The world is still crawling its way out of an economic disaster thanks to the voracious Wall Street elites,” it adds.

It’s not a new refrain: Back in March 2009, China’s central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, also called for the creation of a new reserve currency, albeit in less heated language. The world needs a new “super-sovereign reserve currency” to replace the current reliance on the dollar, Zhou wrote in a paper published on the People’s Bank of China’s website (Zhou still heads the bank). The goal, he wrote, is to “create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run.”

Toppling the dollar isn’t enough today, however: “Several cornerstones should be laid to underpin a de-Americanized world,” explains the Xinhua piece. Along with a greater role for developing-market economies in both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, “the authority of the United Nations in handling global hot-spot issues has to be recognized. That means no one has the right to wage any form of military action against others without a UN mandate” (all quite reasonable propositions, it must be said).

“A self-serving Washington has abused its superpower status and introduced even more chaos into the world by shifting financial risks overseas, instigating regional tensions amid territorial disputes, and fighting unwarranted wars under the cover of outright lies,” the commentary continues.

“Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated, and a new world order should be put in place, according to which all nations, big or small, poor or rich, can have their key interests respected and protected on an equal footing.”

Dexter_roberts
Roberts is Bloomberg Businessweek's Asia News Editor and China bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter @dtiffroberts.

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