Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Christopher Balding

When $3 Trillion Just Isn't Enough

China's massive stash of foreign reserves isn't as big as it seems.
China's spending billions each month to prop up the yuan.

China's spending billions each month to prop up the yuan.

Source: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Most conversations about the Chinese economy come with a reassuring caveat: With $3.3 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves at their disposal, Chinese leaders can bring almost unlimited firepower to bear to defend the yuan, recapitalize state banks or spread cheap loans abroad to win influence. Such confidence, however, may be misplaced.

QuickTake China's Pain Points