Renminbi and Foreign Exchange Control

China’s official currency, the Renminbi (RMB), is issued and managed by the People’s Bank of China. The currency is denominated in yuan (one yuan equals 10 jiao, and one jiao equals 10 fen). The exchange rate of RMB is formulated by the People’s Bank of China, and issued by the General Administration of Exchange Control. China exercises centralized management over foreign exchange, this function being performed by the General Administration of Exchange Control.

In 1994, reforms were carried out in the administration of foreign currencies, adopting a combination of exchange rates (from the simultaneous existence of several exchange rates to a single market exchange rate) and a unified settlement and sale of foreign exchange, and a unified inter-bank foreign exchange market was established. This had an important influence upon China’s economic development and reform and opening to the outside world. Since 1996, foreign currency business of foreign-invested enterprises has been directed into the banking system of settlement and sale. On December 1, 1996, China formally accepted Article 8 of the Agreement on International Currencies and Funds, realizing the convertibility of the RMB under the current account ahead of schedule. This was a major breakthrough in reforming the country’s foreign exchange control system. Facing the impact of the Asian financial crisis since 1997, the Chinese government has declared that it will maintain the exchange rate of the RMB, stating that the RMB will not be devaluated, winning the appreciation of the international community. In 1999, China’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$ 154.7 billion, 99 times that of 1978.

Introduction | Bank Credit & Financial Markets | Renminbi & Foreign Exchange Control |                    
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Last updated: 2000-07-13.