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Internationalization of the Renminbi and the Effects on U.S. Dollar Hegemony and U.S. Vital Interests


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Despite recent rhetoric touting the imminent displacement of the U.S. Dollar (USD) by the Renminbi (RMB) as the global reserve currency, this paper argues that the Chinese effort to internationalize its currency does not pose a credible threat to USD hegemony nor U.S. vital interests due to the inadequacy of Chinese financial institutions and policies, and the resiliency inherent to the dollar-dominated system. Further, this paper argues that despite the conventional threat assessment that internationalization of the Renminbi poses a direct challenge to the USD's financial hegemony and U.S. global influence, it is not actually Chinas intent to promote the RMB as the leading global reserve currency, but that China has a more limited aim of self-sufficiency within a Chinese regional sphere of influence. This paper concludes with a series of attainable policy recommendations to strengthen the USDs position and unquestionably deter future currency challengers addressing the U.S.s overuse of financial sanctions, the politization of the U.S. debt-ceiling debate, and the necessity for pricing current and future commodities in USD.



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