NPC, CPPCC Annual Sessions 2009
Special Report: Global Financial Crisis
BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- China should speed up
reforming its financial system to make the yuan an international currency, said
political advisors Saturday.
"A significant inspiration to draw from the global
financial crisis is that we must play an active role in the reconstruction of
the international financial order," said Peter Kwong Ching Woo, chairman of the
Hong Kong-based Wharf (Holdings) Limited.
The key to financial reform is to make the yuan an
international currency, said Woo in a speech to the Second Session of the 11th
National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
(CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body.
That means using the Chinese currency to settle
international trade payments, allowing the yuan freely convertible on the
capital account and making it an international reserve currency, he said.
China's yuan, or Renminbi, can be freely convertible
on the current account but not on the capital account, preventing it from being
a reserve currency or a choice in international trade settlement.
China has announced trial programs to settle trade in
the yuan, a move analysts say will facilitate foreign trade as Chinese exporters
might face losses if they continue to be paid in the U.S. dollar. The dollar's
exchange rate has become more volatile since the global financial crisis.
Economists say the move will increase the acceptance
of the currency in Asia, which will help it become an international currency in
the long run.
The status of the yuan as an international currency
will benefit China by giving it a bigger say in world financial issues and
reducing the reliance of its huge foreign reserves on the U.S. dollar, some
Other analysts argue a fully convertible yuan will
hurt China as it would allow massive capital outflow during a financial crisis.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities remain cautious.
It's possible that the global financial crisis will
facilitate the process of making the yuan internationally accepted, but there's
no need to push for that, Yi Gang, vice central bank governor, told Xinhua
earlier this month.
That process should be conducive to all sides, he
Xu Shanda, former vice director of the State
Administration of Taxation and a CPPCC National Committee member, urged for
faster paces in making the yuan an international currency as a way of increasing
He said the United States and the European Union have
obtained hefty royalties from the international use of their currencies while
China has become the biggest source of that income.
A royalty, or seignior age, results from the
difference between the cost of printing currency and the face value of the
"China's loss due to royalty payment has far exceeded
the benefit of not making the yuan an international currency," he said in a
speech to the annual session of the CPPCC National Committee, without
China's State Council, or Cabinet, said last December
it would allow the yuan to be used for settlement between the country's two
economic powerhouses -- Guangdong Province and the Yangtze River Delta -- and
the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao.
Meanwhile, exporters in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous
Region and Yunnan Province will be allowed to use Renminbi to settle trade
payments with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members.