This chapter describes the dimension of British banking in China. The monetary use of paper re-emerged as a result of the proliferation of base metals in interregional trade after the collapse of the Tang and the ensuing political disunion of the Five Dynasties. The fundamental restrictions on note issuance applicable to British banks in such disparate countries as Argentina, Greece, and Mainland China can be traced back to the same set of guidelines that had initially been devised for British colonies during the 1830s. British banks in Shanghai took advantage of the amorphous legal setting there to withhold information on banknote circulation volumes, whereas, in Hong Kong, they were obliged to disclose this type of information in the colonial government's Blue Book.
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