Daniel W. Drezner

Someone give the FT a dose of valium, please

The Financial Times’ Peter Garnham reports that China is getting serious about internationalizing the use of the renminbi: China has kick-started a major plan to internationalise the renminbi and the process is likely to be faster than many expect, according to HSBC…. “China is beginning an ambitious scheme to raise the role of the renminbi ...

The Financial Times’ Peter Garnham reports that China is getting serious about internationalizing the use of the renminbi:

China has kick-started a major plan to internationalise the renminbi and the process is likely to be faster than many expect, according to HSBC….

“China is beginning an ambitious scheme to raise the role of the renminbi in international trade and finance and to reduce reliance on the US dollar,” said Qu Hongbin, China chief economist at HSBC.

“This will likely be a multi-year and gradual process. Yet, we believe the pace is likely to be faster than many expect.”

HSBC said the internationalisation of the renminbi was long overdue, given China’s rising economic power relative to the limited use of the renminbi overseas.

If you read the whole story, you discover that the FT’s evidence for this assertion rests entirely on assertions by HSBC officials.  Which leads one to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, the FT should have checked to see whether HSBC has any financial stake in globalizing the use of the renminbi. Crazy talk, I know…

Loyal readers are surely aware that this is not the first time the Financial Times has hyperventilated over Chinese moves that don’t necessarily amount to all that

Now before anyone accuses me of going all Brad DeLong on the FT, I think a lot of their China coverage (particularly by Jamil Anderlini and Geoff Dyer) has been very informative.  That said, this kind of thinly sourced story does lead one to wonder just how much of the coverage of China’s financial moves is hype from financial players with a vested interest in feeding the China bubble. 

Readers — am I underreacting to this? 

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the author of Theories of International Politics and Zombies. His latest book is The Toddler in Chief. Twitter: @dandrezner

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