Financial Cold War: A View of Sino-US Relations from the Financial Markets | James A. Fok
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A groundbreaking exploration of US-China relations as seen through the lens of international finance
Rising tensions between China and the United States have kept the financial markets on edge as a showdown between the world’s two largest economies seems inevitable. But what most people fail to recognise is the major impact that the financial markets themselves have had on the creation and acceleration of the conflict.
In Financial Cold War: A View of Sino-US Relations from the Financial Markets, market structure and geopolitical finance expert James Fok explores the nuances of China-US relations from the perspective of the financial markets. The book helps readers understand how imbalances in the structure of global financial markets have singularly contributed to frictions between the two countries.
In this book, readers will find:
- A comprehensive examination of the development of financial markets in both China and the US, as well as the current US dollar-based global financial system
- Insightful observations of the roles of technology, innovation, regulation, taxation, and politics in the markets, and on their resulting effect on US-Sino relations
- Thorough explorations of the role of Hong Kong as an intermediary for capital flows between China and the rest of the world
- Suggestions for how, balancing the many varying interests, policymakers might be able to devise effective strategies for de-escalating current Sino-US tensions
Financial Cold War is a can’t-miss resource for anyone personally or professionally interested in the intersection of economics and international relations, financial markets, and the infrastructure underlying the international financial system.
From the Inside Flap
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, tensions between the United States and China have risen rapidly. The rhetoric escalated further when the Trump Administration imposed significant new tariffs on Chinese goods and, despite a transition to a new administration in the White House, a near-term thawing of relations does not appear to be in the cards.
In Financial Cold War: A View of Sino-US Relations from the Financial Markets, market structure and geopolitical finance expert James Fok examines Sino-US relations through the lens of the financial markets, helping readers understand how imbalances and nuances in the structure of the global financial system have contributed to the current geopolitical tensions between America and China.
The book traces the history of the development of financial markets in both countries and of the current US dollar-based global financial system. It goes on to explain why the structure of world financial markets is fanning the flames of global tensions. Alongside a presentation of geopolitical developments between China and the West from the 18th century to the present day, the author examines the role of technology, innovation, regulation, taxation, and politics in markets. At the same time, he explores how the markets have impacted politics and policy.
Drawing on over two decades of hands-on experience in financial markets, including a decade on the frontline negotiating the integration of Mainland Chinese and international capital markets, Fok offers an in-depth analysis of the global financial system and questions the enduring assumptions that underpin it. He highlights the growing risks of dependence on the US dollar and worldwide fiscal competition, the challenges posed by China’s gradual financial market opening, and the role played by Hong Kong as an intermediary for capital flows between China and the rest of the world. He also suggests ways for Chinese and American policymakers to address key financial sources of conflict in order to de-escalate geopolitical tensions.
Financial Cold War is a must-read resource for anyone interested in the interplay between financial markets and international relations, and the international infrastructure of the financial system.
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR FINANCIAL COLD WAR
“James Fok’s book highlights the explosive risks in the relationship between the US and China today. It also offers insights into fundamental driving forces of international frictions and is a call to take urgently necessary steps to address the sources of conflict.”
—Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum
“My only gripe about James Fok’s take on the bumpy road ahead for US-China relations is that his book doesn’t include a seatbelt. His message that things are about to get turbulent, one offered in uniquely personal terms, should be necessary reading for investors and businesspeople everywhere.”
—William Pesek, award-winning Tokyo-based journalist; Forbes and Nikkei Asia columnist; author of Japanization: What the World Can Learn from Japan’s Lost Decades
“Financial Cold War is a profoundly important book necessary for understanding China-US relations as well as the challenges facing the modern day global economy. James Fok has used his unique vantage point of working at the intersection of international finance and the Chinese economy to provide invaluable insights and analysis of this new geopolitical and geoeconomic frontline. It is remarkable in its breadth—tracking, from ancient days, how modern China and America have found themselves in this precarious position. Fok also offers practical steps for Chinese and US policy makers, business leaders and market participants to avoid, and de-escalate, tensions within this financial Cold War.”
—James Shipton, former Chair, Australian Securities & Investments Commission; former Executive Director, Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems; former Executive Director, Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong
“The multi-trillion-dollar financial market relationship between America and China has profound implications for the whole world. As the United States and China head down the path of digital and technology decoupling, their tension in finance—especially China’s new sovereign digital currency potentially challenging the US dollar’s supremacy—adds a new layer of complexity to the global economy. Thankfully, James Fok has delivered exactly the kind of comprehensive, timely and thought-provoking account you need to get up to date.”
—Winston Ma, CFA, Managing Partner of CloudTree Ventures; author of The Digital War: How China’s Tech Power Shapes the Future of AI, Blockchain and Cyberspace
“James Fok is a China expert and he found himself on the frontline of the Sino-US rivalry that threatens the world's financial ecosystem. This book benefits from his personal experiences, and from his passion for original research and for telling a story of global significance.”
—Dato’ Seri Cheah Cheng Hye, Co-Founder and Head of Value Partners Group, Hong Kong
About the Author
James A. Fok is a veteran financial and strategic advisor to corporations and governments. He served as a senior executive at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) during a decade of rapid internationalisation in China’s capital markets. Prior to that, he worked as an investment banker specialising in the financial services sector.