Di Dongsheng is a professor and vice dean of the School of International Studies (SIS) at Renmin University and deputy director and secretary-general of the China Center for Foreign Strategic Studies. Di is known for a public speech he made last November in which he boasted that China has influence in the U.S. political circles. [Editor’s note: That article “CCP Scholar: CCP Can Use Wall Street to Influence the U.S. Political Circle, December 6, 2020, can be seen at http://chinascope.org/archives/25265]
In a video published in February this year, Di gave another talk titled, “Belt and Road 2.0 in the Post COVID 19 Era: Exporting China’s Governance Experience and Capability.” In this talk, Di stated, “The goal of the Belt and Road initiative is to internationalize the Renminbi (Chinese Yuan) and replace the U.S. dollar.”
Di said that the Belt and Road initiative is not about (controlling) resources, in fact it is about defining the value of the RMB: “We go after the younger generations in the belt and road countries. They don’t have money but they want to buy things. We loan money to them. We invest in them. We hire them. Once they have income and money, they will buy products made in China. We will continue to use the money and loan it to them and eventually we will let the people in those countries be part of the Renminbi currency cycle.” Di proposed a model in which Beijing would build special zones (like the Shenzhen special economic zone) in the belt and road countries and then the Chinese people would migrate there. Beijing would still hold the governing power over the Chinese migrants and the local ethnic population in the zone. He also claimed that, “China’s national debt will become the global value-based benchmark. The Chinese people’s consumption power will give birth to the world’s largest market and the Renminbi will become the future world’s currency.
Gong Shengli, a Chinese economist, slammed Di’s statements saying it was merely empty talk because there is lack of trust in the Renminbi in the world and in China’s one-party political system. Gong questioned how many countries have purchased Chinese bonds and where the economic return is from the Belt and Road Initiative. A Taiwanese economist Wu Jialong said that Di’s statements were simply to please Beijing which is in line with China’s rising power narrative.
1. NTDTV, April 2, 2021
2. Guan Video, February 3, 2021