Edited by Ka Zeng
Chapter 13: The China Investment Corporation and the rise of sovereign wealth funds
This chapter situates the China Investment Corporation (CIC) within the rise of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) in the global political economy in the last decade, unpacking their different forms and functions as institutional investors and as policy tools to address fiscal and monetary policy dilemmas. It furthers this conventional account by considering the growth of SWFs as a power resource for states to engage the global financial economy, while also providing a source of resistance against the power of the market and global economic and social change. The problem is that as a power resource, SWFs are not easily qualified as entities focused exclusively on investing subject to purely financial motivations. Separating the inherent political nature of SWFs is impossible. This does not mean, however, that SWFs are necessarily a nefarious force that will undermine market architecture and efficiency. In the case of the CIC, rather than reflecting an exclusive concern for maximizing the long-run risk adjusted return on its investments, it is an arm of the Chinese government that is focused on addressing China’s economic development needs.
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