Chapter 6

Chinese Money and Monetary System, 1800–2000, Overview

D. Ma

London School of Economics, London, UK


In 1889, a Westerner made the following comment on the Chinese currency system:

… Its (the Chinese currency’s) chaotic eccentricities would drive any occidental nation to madness in a single generation, or more probably such gigantic evils would speedily work their own cure. In speaking of the disregard of accuracy we have mentioned a few of the more prominent annoyances. One hundred cash are not 100, and 1000 cash are not 1000, but some other and totally uncertain number, to be ascertained only by experience. In wide regions of the ...

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