The Chinese Approach to Capital Inflows: Patterns and Possible Explanations
62 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2006
Date Written: April 2005
In this paper, we adopt a cross-country perspective to examine the evolution of capital flows into China, both in terms of volumes and composition. China`s inflows have generally been dominated by foreign direct investment (FDI), a pattern that appears to be favorable in light of the recent literature on the experiences of developing countries with financial globalization. We provide a detailed documentation of the evolution of China`s capital controls, a proximate determinant of the pattern of capital inflows. We also discuss a number of other intriguing hypotheses that attempt to capture the deeper causes underlying China`s approach to capital flows. In particular, we argue that some popular mercantilist-type arguments are inconsistent with the facts. We also analyze the recent rapid rise of China`s international reserves and discuss its implications. Contrary to some popular perceptions, the dramatic surge in foreign exchange reserves since 2001 is mainly attributable to non-FDI capital inflows, rather than current account surpluses or FDI.
Keywords: Financial integration, foreign direct investment, international reserves, external debt, capital controls
JEL Classification: F2, F3, F4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation