China’s Gold Army

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July 2000, soldiers from the 8th detachment panning alluvial gold in Xinjiang. In 30 years, the gold exploration unit has found many large-scale gold deposits, in total found more than 1800 tons of proven gold reserves.

 

Withdrawals from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, which equal Chinese wholesale gold demand, in week 46 accounted for 49 tonnes. Year to date withdrawals have reached 2,362 tonnes.

As part of the wide analysis of the Chinese domestic gold market I would like to share that since the seventies there is a special army in China dedicated to gold. It’s called The Gold Armed Police – if you can read Chinese have a look at this Wikipedia page.

It’s no coincidence this army came into existence in 1979, eight year after the US left the gold standard and when China started opening up under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping. As, this was the moment the Chinese slowly started to reform their economy and made the first preparations in their gold market. They knew, among others, the global dollar standard wouldn’t last forever.

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China hoarding gold to challenge U.S. dollar?

The People’s Bank of China has not formally disclosed any changes to its gold holdings in years, but it’s believed that the central bank is purchasing gold to diversify its reserve holdings. In 2009, China announced that it boosted its gold reserves by 454 tonnes via acquiring gold quietly over the previous five years. That represented an impressive 76 percent increase in gold reserves. Today, China still shows that it holds 1,054.1 tonnes in reserves, but it’s speculated by analysts to actually have around 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes.Some market participants also believe China is building up its gold reserves to challenge the U.S. dollar, which is currently the world’s reserve currency. A few years ago, China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said, “International supervision over the issue of U.S. dollars should be introduced and a new, stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country.” Continue reading