China is printing money for other countries in the hopes of expanding their power in the international economy.
United States, Canada, and NZ sticker printing, poster printing, and book publishing are just some of the few examples of printing services all over the world. While these may be usual services acquired by private citizens, businesses, and even government offices, China is looking at it from another perspective: banknote printing.
Full Steam Ahead
The country’s money-printing plants are running near full capacity to meet the quota from countries such as Poland, Brazil, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.
Chinese yuan bills are still being printed, but it was reported that it only comprised a small percentage of orders, with the majority coming in from foreign countries.
Belt and Road Initiative
Other countries like Canada, US, and NZ sticker printing, and book publication mainly seek to provide services on an as-needed basis, but for China, it is on a much wider scale. The money printing is said to have been linked to their Belt and Road initiative launched in 2013. It seeks to stimulate growth in the economy of around 60 countries across Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly by providing infrastructure projects and investments.
In 2015, they started printing money for Nepal, but has soon started providing services to Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Poland.
Rise from the Bottom
The project is seen as an improvement in the country’s perception of currency printing as Chinese citizens have recently started to favour mobile and banking services over cash.
China Banknote Printing and Mining Corporation, the state-owned company tasked for the job, has employed around 18,000 workers and employees, and built ten plants solely for printing coins and bills. In comparison, the United State’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing has less than 2,000 people.
Trust and Alliances
Beijing Institute of Technology Economics professor Hu Xingdou believes that this is an important step in China’s growing power in the world economics. Printing banknotes take a lot of trust, showing how other countries are slowly starting to see the country as a reliable partner. Currency also symbolizes sovereignty, and having it printed by another country shows the countries’ willingness to cooperate for monetary alliances.