Today, the relationship between China and the United States is one of escalating competition. On Oct. 23, 2019, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Libra. Zuckerberg and members of Congress had much to disagree on. One consensus that did emerge, however, was concern regarding China’s digital currency project. Zuckerberg noted: “While we debate these issues, the rest of the world isn’t waiting. China is moving quickly to launch similar ideas in the coming months.”
Building on this, the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy recently discussed the need for a digital dollar as a response to China’s growing economic influence. Similarly, Huang Qifan, vice chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges — a leading think tank backed by the Chinese government — claimed five days later that the Chinese government-led CBDC project, referred to as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment, or DCEP, would replace the SWIFT international financial messaging and payments system, describing it as a tool for the U.S. to exercise its global hegemony.