China Public Finance and Education During World War II

Finance. – According to Recipesinthebox, the Chinese financial situation has been characterized in recent years by many negative aspects: highly passive trade balance, growing deficit in the state budget, disorder in the entire economic life of the country. The deficit of the state budget, covered more and more extensively with the issuance of tickets, depended on various reasons, the most important of which are undoubtedly the disorganization of the tax system and the huge expenses for the continuation of the civil war. The comparison between a pre-war budget and that of 1947 (in billions of Chinese or yüan dollars) can be indicative:

For the first six months of 1948 (the exercise is six-monthly from this year), revenues of 58,000 billion and expenses of 96,000 billion have been estimated.

During the period from 1939 to the present, exchange rate regulation has undergone a series of changes, while the Chinese dollar has been devalued several times. The official exchange rate against the dollar was raised to 12,000 yüan on February 17, 1947 when the monopoly on the gold and foreign exchange trade was entrusted to the National Bank; the only exchange recognized was the official one. However, in the face of the dizzying worsening of the situation – black market prices had risen to 44,500 – and in the hope of stabilizing the yüan at a more realistic exchange rate, on August 17, 1997, the open market exchange rate was readmitted alongside the official exchange rate and was created a Currency Stabilization Fund.

While the official exchange rate remained unchanged, the open market exchange rate had risen, to 474,000 yüan per US dollar on June 3, 1948, when the system was introduced whereby exporters, in addition to the amount in Chinese dollars corresponding to the currencies sold at the market exchange rate, were introduced. opened, a “certificate of amount” was delivered equal to the foreign currency paid, a freely negotiable certificate, which had to be purchased by the importers in order to obtain the import license. The actual exchange rate therefore consisted of the open exchange rate plus that of the certificates. At the end of July 1948 the open market exchange rate with the dollar had remained unchanged at 474,000 yüan, that of certificates had reached 3.8 million yüan. The black market exchange rate on the same date was 7.8 million yiian per dollar. The currency circulation from 2.3 billion yüan in 1938 was estimated to have risen to 130 trillion in May 1948. On 19 August 1948, accompanied by a series of economic and financial measures, the monetary reform was decided. The new currency, the yüan- gold, will be exchanged at the rate of 3 million old yüan for a new one; the exchange rate against the US dollar was set at 4 yüan- gold per dollar. The circulation, which for the moment must not exceed 2 billion, will have a coverage of 40 per cent in gold and currencies. The law provides for the collection of old tickets by November 20, 1948.

Since July 1942, the exclusive monopoly of ticketing has been attributed to the Central Bank of China. With the banking law of April 17, 1946, a system of strict control over banks was introduced; the granting of loans and the acquisition of shareholdings are subject to restrictive rules.

Education and public education. – The period from 1927 to 1937 was characterized by the remarkable development achieved by the movement for the modernization of Chinese education: in that period the major universities and the two main centers of scientific research were established, the Sinic Academy (1927) and the National Academy (1929), the first based in Nanjing and the second based in Beijing. In 1936 there were 42 Chinese universities, of which 16 national, 7 provincial and 19 private. The war with Japan brought a notable blow to the educational system as most of the high schools had to be transferred inland and a lot of material, especially books, was forcibly lost. This shift, however, had the consequence of a certain improvement in the already very low cultural level of the inland regions.

At the end of 1945 the situation of existing higher education institutions in China was as follows: 22 national universities; 20 private universities; 16 national independent colleges; 12 independent provincial colleges; 22 private colleges; 16 national technical schools; 18 provincial technical schools; 15 private technical schools.

The best known universities are: in Nanjing, the central university, the university of Nanjing, the Ginling College; in Beijing, Ts’ing Hua University, Catholic University (Fu jen), Yenching University, Peking University; in Shanghai, St. John University, Tung Chi University, Aurora University (Chen Tan); in Canton, Chung Shan University.

The two main national libraries are the National one in Beijing (1931) and the Central one in Nanjing (1940) where the Office for the International Exchange of Publications was established.

China Public Finance and Education During World War II

About the author