One of the keys to China’s global rise has been its strategy of deploying sovereign wealth on behalf of state power. Since President Xi Jinping took office in 2013, China has doubled down on financial statecraft, making shrewd investments with the sovereign funds it has built up by leveraging its foreign exchange reserves. Sovereign Funds tells the story of how the Communist Party of China (CPC) became a global financier of surpassing ambition.

Dr. Liu offers a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the evolution of China’s sovereign funds, including the China Investment Corporation, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, and Central Huijin Investment. Dr. Liu shows how these institutions have become mechanisms not only for transforming low-reward foreign exchange reserves into investment capital but also for power projection. Sovereign funds are essential drivers of the national interest, shaping global markets, advancing the historic Belt and Road Initiative, and funneling state assets into strategic industries such as semiconductors, fintech, and artificial intelligence. In the era of President Xi, state-owned financial institutions have become gatekeepers of the Chinese economy. Political and personal relationships with prestigious sovereign funds have enabled Blackstone to flourish in China and have fueled the ascendance of private tech giants such as Alibaba, Ant Finance, and Didi.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Zongyuan Zoe Liu is Maurice R. Greenberg fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Her work focuses on international political economy, global financial markets, sovereign wealth funds, supply chains of critical minerals, development finance, emerging markets, energy and climate change policy, and East Asia-Middle East relations. Dr. Liu is the author of Can BRICS De-dollarize the Global Financial System? (Cambridge University Press) and Sovereign Funds: How the Communist Party of China Finances its Global Ambitions (Harvard University Press).

Dr. Liu completed her Ph.D at the Edwin Reischauer fellow at School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining CFR, Dr. Liu was an instructional assistant professor at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service in Washington, DC, where she taught courses on global economy, economic statecraft, and Chinese foreign policy.

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