April 18, 2015 / 7:22 AM / 5 years ago

China says to accelerate reforms to support yuan in IMF currency basket

A woman counts Chinese yuan notes at a market in Beijing, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Beijing will accelerate reforms to the country’s currency as part of a push for the yuan’s inclusion in the International Monetary Fund’s currency basket, China’s central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Saturday.

In a statement to the IMF steering committee, Zhou argued that Beijing had made strides toward making the yuan freely convertible, and that it should be included in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket.

China has committed to further open its capital account and liberalize the way the exchange rate for the yuan, or RMB, is managed, including reducing currency market intervention.

“China is not far from achieving its goal of RMB capital account convertibility,” Zhou said.

Winning approval for the yuan’s inclusion in the IMF’s currency basket could raise China’s standing in the global financial system and mark an important step in Beijing’s emergence as a global power.

The United States, the IMF’s top shareholder, has said China’s currency is not yet ready to join the SDR basket. A top IMF official said China does not want to bend the rules in its favor.

Zhou had earlier commented on the currency reform push in an interview with Xinhua reporters in Washington on Friday, where he was attending a meeting of the IMF.

Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; Additional reporting by Pete Sweeney and David Lin in Shanghai; Editing by Jeremy Laurence and Tim Ahmann

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