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Yi Gang suggests levying tax on forex transactions
Last Updated: 2014-01-06 13:24 | CE.cn
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By Li Hongmei

A Chinese financial regulator has suggested the country could introduce a tax on foreign exchange transactions among other steps to guard against speculative capital flows amid further economic liberalization.

Yi Gang, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, wrote in an article for the Communist Party of China's theoretical journal Qiushi that China should "study in depth" the so-called "Tobin Tax" on financial transactions.

The levy gets its name from Nobel laureate James Tobin, who proposed it in 1972 to reduce speculation in global markets.

Yi, in his article carried on the journal's website, also called for studying measures including fees on foreign exchange trading and curbing short-term speculative fund flows.

The measures were mentioned in the context of "orderly pushing forward capital market opening, improving and perfecting the foreign debt management system and accelerating the advance of renminbi capital account convertibility," Yi wrote.

"Persistently guarding against cross-border liquidity flow shocks is the key to good foreign exchange management," he wrote.

In addition to heading SAFE, which regulates China's foreign exchange system, Yi is also a vice-governor of the People's Bank of China, the central bank.

Some see such a levy as a way of providing buffers against economic downturns and also curbing excessively speculative transactions.

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