China’s long game: topple the US dollar

In other words, by working together, the tyrannical regimes of Moscow, Beijing and Tehran can now blunt the impact of US policies.


This alternative financial system is currently limited by its scope. No three countries, even with an industrial giant like China among them, can replace the global economy.

Nevertheless, it is providing a lifeline to Vladimir Putin as he resists punitive measures in the wake of his invasion of Ukraine. It also creates a blind spot in which other actors – including nations and companies doing business with America – can hide questionable behaviour from the global community.

Moreover, as China’s economy continues to grow, more nations will enter Beijing’s orbit and this emerging system. When that happens, alternatives to the dollar will attain greater viability.

Lula da Silva, the Brazilian president, proved this trend is already under way when he signed 15 agreements with Beijing, on everything from scientific research to information technology to agriculture, during his recent trip to China.

Lula announced his intention to help the Chinese Communist Party “balance world geopolitics” – that is, diminish the influence of the US. He also endorsed the establishment of an independent currency to compete with the dollar.


Two policy conclusions should follow from these developments. The first is that we need to revitalise domestic manufacturing. Since 2000, when America ceded its status as the World’s Factory to China, our sole economic advantages have been our ability to innovate and our financial dominance, but the former is stagnating and the latter is waning. To survive and thrive in a multipolar era, we need to be able to make things again – from semiconductors to pharmaceuticals and everything in between.

The second takeaway is that the US needs to get better at making and keeping friends. We can no longer count on foreign countries to follow our lead by default. To balance Beijing’s growing anti-American coalition, and to keep the dollar as strong as possible, the US must build a coalition of its own.

Fortunately, there are plenty of influential countries that have no desire to see the Chinese Communist Party become the world’s dominant power.


They range from traditional allies in Europe to Asian powerhouses such as Japan and South Korea.

The Biden administration must convince these nations that it pays to collaborate with the US. To do that, we must be reliable and respectful partners, and we must keep progressive ideology out of finance.

Foreign companies don’t want to route their transactions through New York if it means paying exorbitant corporate taxes or taking on the risk of being de-banked by a woke pressure campaign.

If Leftism has free rein, it will push currently unaligned nations – and maybe even some of our friends – into the arms of our adversaries. To prevent that from happening, our leaders must choose restraint over ideological purity.

That will be hard, but so will almost everything about the transition to multipolar finance.

Nevertheless, we must adapt, because it’s a lot harder to let the world change under your feet and live with the consequences of doing nothing about it.

Marco Rubio is a United States Senator.

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