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South China Morning Post: China and Russia are 'almost certainly' weaponizing gold

Section: Daily Dispatches

Move Over, Cryptocurrency -- Gold Could Have the Last Laugh This Year

By Anthony Rowley
South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
Sunday, January 15, 2023

There has been considerable excitement in the gold market lately with the price touching US1,900 an ounce last year and appearing likely to breach US$2,000 before long. But what is happening below the radar with the huge buildup of central bank gold holdings is of greater interest.

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The People's Bank of China and Russia's central bank have been buying heavily, and while this may appear to be little more than shrewd, given that inflation is set to continue rising (even if at a slowing pace), these purchases have wider monetary and strategic significance.

They signify further challenges to the global financial and monetary order in 2023 as China and Russia seek, for their own separate reasons, to counter what has in effect become a tyranny of dollar domination. And they point to growing distrust and geopolitical tension between major economic powers. ...

So, given that these two countries together represent a major force in global gold holdings as well as production, what are the likely implications of the relatively sudden buildup of gold reserves by their central banks? Are they "weaponising" the precious metal? Almost certainly, yes, and what more effective time to do so than when inflation is eroding the value of paper currencies (the dollar included), cryptocurrencies are losing their appeal as a supposed new form of "digital gold," and investment demand for gold is rising? ...

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