This chapter will map the evolution of the modern Chinese banking sector, focusing specifically on the impact that Western economic ideas and banking institutions had on its development. The events highlighted below have been selected because of their relevance to three important themes: (i) how they may have influenced contemporary perceptions of the utility of Western banking practices (what was referred to in Chapters 2 and 3 as ‘ideational’ influences); (ii) how these perceptions might have affected the current fortunes of Western banks in China; and (iii) how they help us to understand the complex roots of the distribution of power in the field of banking in China today.