Wei Shen
Carrie Shu Shang
Li Fang


China’s increasing engagement in international governance has had significant ramifications in international rule-making and institutional build-up. The post-COVID-19 era has seen a rise of populism in China, as well as an elevation of China’s significance in international governance. This article offers a new perspective on China’s growing influence in the midst of resurgent populism, by focusing on three case scenarios: defending state liability in public health crisis lawsuits, championing financial multilateralism, and an emerging digital currency landscape. The argument made here is that China’s status as a rising power has led it to advocate for international rules, standards, and institutions in a de-Americanised and anti-populist manner.

Keywords: Global Public Health Crisis, Populism, Financial Aid, Public Goods, Financial Multilateralism



  1. Acemoglu, Daron, et al. 2016. Import Competition and the Great U.S. Employment Sag of the 2000s. Journal of Labor Economics 34 No. 1
  2. Algan, Yann, et al. 2017. The European Trust Crisis and the Rise of Populism. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2: 309-382
  3. Allison, Graham T. 2017. Destined for War : Can America and China Escape Thucydides’ Trap?. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  4. Angeloni, Ignazio, et al. 2011. Global Currencies for Tomorrow: A European Perspective. Bruegel Blueprint Series.
  5. Arato, Julian, et. al. 2020. The Perils of Pandemic Exceptionalism. American Journal of International Law 144: 627-636.
  6. Arner, Douglas W. 2007. Toward a New Design for International Financial Regulation. University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Economic Law 29 No.2: 391–453.
  7. Auer, Raphael, et al. 2020. Covid-19, Cash, and the Future of Payments. BIS Bulletin No 3.
  8. Autor, David, et al. 2017. Importing Political Polarization? The Electoral Consequences of Rising Trade Exposure. MIT Working Paper.
  9. Avioutskii, Viatcheslav and Mouloud Tensaout. 2016. Does Politics Matter? Partisan FDI in Central and Eastern Europe. Multinational Business Review 24: 375-398
  10. Barr, Michael S, Howell E. Jackson, and Margaret E. Tahyar. 2016. Financial Regulation: Law and Policy. California: Foundation Press.
  11. Barrdear, John and Michael Kumhof. 2016. The Macroeconomics of Central Bank Issued Digital Currencies. Staff Working Paper No. 605. ?la=en&hash=341B602838707E5D6FC26884588C912A721B1DC1
  12. Benzmiller, Theodore. 2022. China’s Progress Towards a Central Bank Digital Currency. Center for Strategic & International Studies.
  13. Bernstorff, Jochen Von and Philipp Dann. 2019. The Battle for International Law: South-North Perspectives on The Decolonization Era. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  14. Bown, Chad P. 2019. The 2018 U.S-China Trade Conflict After 40 Years of Special Protection.
  15. Cabestan, Jean-Pierre. 2012. China and Ethiopia: Authoritarian Affinities and Economic Cooperation. China Perspectives No. 4
  16. Caytas, Joanna Diane. 2017. Weaponizing Finance: U.S. and European Options, Tools and Policies, Columbia Journal of European Law 23 No.2: 441-475
  17. Chaisse, Julien. Both Possible and Improbable—Could COVID-19 Measures Give Rise to Investor-State Disputes?. Contemporary Asia Arbitration Journal 13, No.1: 99-184
  18. Chellaney, Brahma. 2019. China’s Debt-Trap Diplomacy. Project Syndicate.
  19. Cheng, Cheng. 2019. The Logic Behind China’s Foreign Aid Agency.
  20. Cheng, Jonathan. 2020. China Rolls Out Pilot Test of Digital Currency. The Wall Street Journal.
  21. Christoffersen, Gaye. 2016. The Role of China in Global Energy Governance. China Perspectives.
  22. Colantone, Italo, and Piero Stanig. 2018. Global competition and Brexit. American Political Science Review 112. No. 2 (2018): 201–218
  23. Colantone, Italo and Piero Stanig. 2018. The Economic Roots of the Cultural Backlash: Global Competition and Attitudes in Western Europe. ?dl=0
  24. CSDH. 2008. Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity through Action on the Social Determinants of Health. Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health.
  25. Dayant, Alexandre. 2019. Pacific Islands Avoid China’s ‘Debt-Trap’ Diplomacy for Now. Available at
  26. Detrixhe, John and Sara Eisen. 2011. Stiglitz Urges New Global Reserve Currency to Stem Imbalances. Bloomberg.
  27. Dodge, William S. 2020. Jurisdiction, State Immunity, and Judgements in the Restatement (Fourth) of U.S. Foreign Relation Law. Chinese Journal of International Law 19(1): 101-135
  28. Dor, Gal, and Menachem Hofnung. 2006. Litigation as Political Participation. Israel Studies 11 No. 2: 131-157
  29. El-Safti, Ahmad. 2020. The Covid-19 Effect on the Global Financial System and Efforts to Counter It.
  30. Engle, Sandra. 2006. Choosing Law for Attributing Liability Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: A Proposal for Uniformity. Fordham International Law Journal 15(4): 1060-1098 (1991)
  31. Financial Stability Board. 2021. Promoting Global Financial Stability. FSB Annual Report.
  32. Gardner, Bill. 2020. Dirty Banknotes May be Spreading the Coronavirus. WHO Suggests.
  33. Gelpern, Anna, et al. 2021. How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments.
  34. Giovanoli, Mario. 2009. The Reform of the International Financial Architecture After the Global Crisis. International Law and Politics 42: 81-123
  35. Globerman, Steven. 2017. A New Era for Foreign Direct Investment?. Multinational Business Review 25: 5-10.
  36. Goldsmith, Jack L and Eric A. Posner. 2005. The Limits of International Law. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  37. Guiso, Luigi, et al.. 2017. Demand and Supply of Populism. EIEF Working Papers Series 1703
  38. Gunay, Samet and Gokberk Can. 2022. The Source of Financial Contagion and Spillovers: An Evaluation of The Covid-19 Pandemic and The Global Financial Crisis. PLoS ONE 17(1).
  39. Harvey,David. 2003. The New Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  40. Horn, Sebastian, Carmen M. Reinhart, and Christopher Trebesch. China’s Overseas Lending. 2019. NBER Working Paper No. 26050.
  41. House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, China, and the Rules-Based International System: Sixteenth Report of Session 2017–19. 2019.
  42. Hopkins, Sandra. Economic Stability and Health Status: Evidence from East Asia Before and After the 1990s Economic Crisis. Health Policy 73 no.3 (2006): 347-357
  43. Humanitarian Advisory Group. 2019. Positive Disruption? China’s Humanitarian Aid. Humanitarian Horizons Practice Paper Series.
  44. Jackson, James. 2020. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Congressional Research Service Report. 2020.
  45. James, Harold, et al. 2021. Who’s Right on Inflation? Project Syndicate.
  46. Jones, Lee and Shahar Hameiri. 2020. Debunking the Myth of ‘Debt-trap Diplomacy’ How Recipient Countries Shape China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  47. Koh, Harold Hongju. 2019. The Trump Administration and International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  48. Konowicz, Deane R. 2018. The New Game: Cryptocurrency Challenges U.S. Economic Sanctions. Naval War College Newport United States.
  49. Louka, Elli. 2020. The Global Economic Order : The International Law and Politics of The Financial and Monetary System. United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
  50. Meltzer, Joshua P., and Neena Shenai. 2019. The U.S.-China economic relationship A comprehensive approach.
  51. Morris, Scott, et al. 2020. Chinese and World Bank Lending Terms: A Systematic Comparison Across 157 Countries and 15 Years. Center for Global Development, Policy Paper, No.170.
  52. Morris, Scott, et al. 2021. Mapping China’s Multilateralism: A Data Survey of China’s Participation in Multilateral Development Institutions and Funds. Center for Global Development (CGD) Policy Paper no. 241. CGD: Washington, DC, Nov. 2021
  53. Mudde, Cas and Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser. 2017. Populism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press
  54. Norris, Pippa, Ronald Inglehart, and Cultural Backlash. 2018. Trump, Brexit, and The Rise of Authoritarian Populism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  55. Oatley, Thomas and Jason Yackee. 2000. Political Determinants of IMF Balance of Payments Lending: The Curse of Carabosse?. Department of Political Science University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  56. OECD. 2018. Business and Finance Outlook., p20
  57. Office of Financial Research. 2021. Annual Report to Congress 2021.
  58. Padoa-Schioppa, Tommaso. 2010. The Ghost of Bancor: The Economic Crisis and Global Monetary Disorder. Louvain-la-Neuve.
  59. Palais-Royal Initiative. 2011. Reform of the International Monetary System: A Cooperative Approach for the Twenty-First Century. Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies 3: 185-193.
  60. Parker, Sam, and Gabrielle Chefitz. 2018. Debtbook Diplomacy-China’s Strategic Leveraging of its Newfound Economic Influence and the Consequences for U.S. Foreign Policy. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
  61. People’s Bank of China. 2021. Progress on Research and Development of E-CNY in China.
  62. Perks, Michael, et al. 2021. Evolution of Bilateral Swap Lines. IMF Working Paper WP/21/210
  63. Piketty, Thomas. 2017. Capital in The Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University.
  64. Piketty, Thomas. 2020. Capital and Ideology. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University.
  65. Reinhart, Carmen M and Kenneth S. Rogoff. 2010. Growth in a Time of Debt. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 15639
  66. Rogoff, Kenneth S. 2014. Costs and Benefits to Phasing out Paper Currency. NBER Working Paper Series, Working Paper 20126.
  67. Rudolf, Moritz. China’s Health Diplomacy during Covid-19: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in action. SWP Comment, No. 9/2021.
  68. Rudolf, Peter. 2020. The Sino-American World Conflict. SWP Research Paper.
  69. Ryder, Hannah. 2020. China and the COVID-19 Debt Crunch. The Diplomat.
  70. Smith, Elliot. 2021. Era of Higher Inflation Would Cause Major Currency Volatility, Economist Says
  71. CNBC.
  72. Stankovic, Stefan and Ashwath Balakrishnan. 2020. Central Banks Recommended to Ban Stablecoins. Crypto Briefing.
  73. State Council. 2021. International Development Cooperation in the New Era.
  74. Stiglitz, Joseph E. and Bruce Greenwald. 2010. Towards a New Global Reserve System. Journal of Globalization and Development 1 No.2: 1-26.
  75. Sun, Yun. 2020. China’s Debt Relief for Africa: Emerging Deliberations. The Brookings.
  76. Tooze, Adam. 2018. Crashed: How A Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World. United Kingdom: Penguin Random House.
  77. Tull, Denis M. 2006. China’s Engagement in Africa: Scope, Significance, and Consequences. The Journal of Modern African Studies 44 no.3 (2006):459-479.
  78. U.S. Federal Reserve. 2022. Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation.
  79. Verdier, Pierre-Hugues. 2020. Global Banks on Trial: U.S. Prosecutions and the Remaking of International Finance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  80. Viterbo, Annamaria. 2012. Economic Law, and Monetary Measures: Limitations to States’ Sovereignty and Dispute Settlement (Edward Elgar)
  81. Wei, Shang-Jin. 2021. The Global Dangers of Rising U.S. Inflation. Project Syndicate.
  82. Williams, Owain David and Adrian Kay (eds). 2009. Global Health Governance: Crisis, Institutions and Political Economy. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  83. World Bank, 2022. Global Economic Prospects.
  84. Wu, Mark. 2016. The ‘China, Inc.’ Challenge to Global Trade Governance. Harvard International Law Journal57, no.2: 261-324.
  85. Xiaochun, Zhao. 2018. In Pursuit of a Community of Shared Future: China’s Global Activism in Perspective. China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies 4 No.1: 23-37
  86. Yuan, Jingdong. 2022. China’s Evolving Approach to Foreign Aid. SIPRI Policy Paper
  87. Zaring, David. 2017. The Legal Response to the Next Financial Crisis. George Mason Law Review 24 No. 2
  88. Zimmermann, Claus D. 2013. A Contemporary Concept of Monetary Sovereignty. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  89. Zhang, Denghua. 2020. A Cautious New Approach: China’s Growing Trilateral Aid Cooperation. Canberra: Australian National University Press.
  90. Zhang, Denghua and Graeme Smith. 2017. China’s Foreign Aid System: Structure, Agencies, and Identities. Third World Quarterly: 2330-2346