China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: How the modern Chinese state came to be has traditionally been analysed within a narrative of national elite-led reform. Recently, however, the country’s involvement with the world has increasingly been emphasised as a key to understanding the emergence of modern statehood in the early twentieth century. The globally connected world of finance is an especially useful, yet hitherto understudied perspective for deepening our understanding of the interactions between local and international forces in the making of a modern state in China. Taken together, the presentations will reveal how statehood emerged within a multipolar network of national and international players, and highlight the role of finance as a driving force for economic and social change.
The first presentation by Meng WU examines the expansion of the Chinese state into monetary policy, showing how between 1915 and 1945 formal monetary policy evolved from informal institutional arrangements, rather than a unilateral imposition of state power. Second, Jiajia LIU discusses the Shanghai rubber stock market crisis as an example of Western capitalism’s impact on a peripheral market, and as an event that moved China from laissez-faire towards hands-on state involvement in finance. Focusing on the legal implications of increasing interventionism, Christoph HESS shows how ‘customary law’ regulated Republican-era finance among the competing influences of legal codes, guild rules and the wider legal framework of international finance. Finally, by tracing the development trajectory of foreign banks in China and Japan, Ghassan MOAZZIN adds an explicitly comparative perspective on the emergence of modern financial institutions.
Virtual Paper Presenter: Meng Wu – University of Manchester
Virtual Co-Author: Xin Dong – University of Liaoning
Virtual Paper Presenter: Jiajia Liu – Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Virtual Paper Presenter: Christoph Hess – University of Cambridge
Virtual Paper Presenter: Ghassan Moazzin – University of Hong Kong