The difficulties in connection with international exchange, and the fact that China has always been at a disadvantage in this respect, have tended to influence reformers as a rule towards suggesting gold or the gold exchange standard for this country. The argument has been as follows: sums due by China would be definitively fixed once for all and China would not be forced to pay more than she should pay. It may easily be seen that such an argument is fallacious. The sums are only definitively fixed in gold; the wealth of China is in silver, and she has to pay in silver. The result of the adoption of the gold standard would be, as is well known, the permanent depreciation of her national wealth. In other words, under the gold standard she would have to pay annually an amount much larger than would ordinarily be the case - except, of course, when the value of silver is at its highest level. If the object is to bring about a better adjustment of the relative value of gold and silver, mere legislation would not do; therefore, the adoption of gold would only mean running away from the difficulties.