In a bid to increase influence on world economy and geopolitics, China has been printing foreign currencies, including Indian notes, South China Morning Post reported. The demands are ordered by participants in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.
Sources in the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation confirmed last month that money production plants across the country were running at near full capacity to meet an unusually high quota set by the government this year. One source in particular said that Chinese yuan bills only made “a small proportion of the orders”.
The corporation is state-owned and has its headquarters in Beijing’s Xicheng district. It has employed 18,000 people and runs around 10 strictly guarded facilities for the production of paper notes and coins.
According to Liu Guisheng, president of the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, China did not print foreign currency until recently. In 2013, Beijing launched the Belt and Road Initiative and two years later, China started printing 100-rupee notes for Nepal, Liu wrote in an article in China Finance, a bi-monthly journal run by China’s central bank in May.
Since then the company had “seized the opportunities brought by the initiative” and “successfully won contracts for currency production projects in a number of countries including Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Poland,” he said.
Some governments have asked Beijing not to publicise the deal because they are worried such information could compromise national security or trigger “unnecessary debates at home”, the person said.
Hu Xingdou, a professor of economics at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said a country must have considerable trust in the Chinese government to allow it to print its banknotes.
“The world economic landscape is undergoing some profound changes. As China becomes bigger and more powerful, it will challenge the value system established by the West. Printing money for other countries is an important step,” he said.
“Currency is a symbol of a country’s sovereignty. This business helps build trust and even monetary alliances.”