Date
22 January 2017
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew met with senior Chinese officials on the sidelines of the G20 leaders meeting in Turkey on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew met with senior Chinese officials on the sidelines of the G20 leaders meeting in Turkey on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

US to back inclusion of RMB in SDR basket if it meets criteria

The United States will support China’s bid to have the renminbi included in the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights basket if it meets the institution’s criteria, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Chinese officials. 

Lew met with China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang and senior finance officials on the sidelines of the G20 leaders meeting in Turkey on Sunday, Reuters reported, citing a spokesperson for Lew.

The IMF is expected to approve this month the inclusion of the Chinese currency into its US$280 billion basket of currency reserves, known as Special Drawing Rights (SDR).

Its inclusion in the basket would mark a major diplomatic victory for Beijing’s campaign to internationalize the currency.

It moved closer to inclusion on Friday, after Fund staff and IMF chief Christine Lagarde gave the move the thumbs up.

The IMF’s executive board, which represents its 188 members, is unlikely to go against the staff recommendation, said Meg Lundsager, a fellow at the Wilson Centre and until last year the US representative on the IMF board.

“I would not be surprised if it was pretty close to unanimous,” she said, adding that any opposition to the inclusion would have been voiced before now.

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