As China emerges as a global powerhouse, this timely book examines its economic past and the shaping of its financial institutions.The first comparative study of foreign banking in prewar China, the book surveys the impact of British overseas bank notes on China's economy before the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Focusing on the two leading British banks in the region, it assesses the favorable and unfavorable effects of the British presence in China, with particular emphasis on Shanghai, and traces instructive links between the changing political climate and banknote circulation volumes.Drawing on recently declassified archival materials, Niv Horesh revises previous assumptions about China's prewar economy, including the extent of foreign banknote circulation and the economic significance of the May Thirtieth Movement of 1925.

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