People wearing masks, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, are seen near an electronic board showing Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indexes, at the Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China November 9, 2020.

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China's Financial Opening Accelerates

Nicholas R. Lardy (PIIE) and Tianlei Huang (PIIE)

Policy Briefs 20-17
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Aly Song

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Despite predictions by some observers that the United States and China are headed for a “decoupling,” China’s integration into global financial markets is accelerating. Regulatory reform has opened China’s financial market to many US and other foreign financial institutions. Foreign ownership of onshore Chinese stocks and bonds is growing rapidly and is likely to continue to expand in 2021. And inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) is on track to hit a new record in 2020.

This integration is very asymmetric, however. China retains relatively tight control over both outbound direct investment and outflows of portfolio capital. US efforts to roll back the trend of deepening financial integration by threatening to delist Chinese companies traded on US markets and prohibiting any US investment in 35 Chinese companies that the Department of Defense alleges to be linked to the Chinese military appear to be largely symbolic.

Data Disclosure:

The data underlying this analysis are available here.

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