IMF Agrees to Reserve Currency Asset Status For China

In a further sign of the growing power of the Chinese economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has brought China's currency, the yuan, to its benchmark currency basket.

China has long sought global recognition of its enormous economic power.

The yuan, also known as the renminbi, joins the dollar, euro, pound sterling and yen in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket.

The move was not without cost for China, however, as the Beijing government put in place a series of reforms in recent months, including improved access for foreigners to Chinese currency markets, more frequent debt issuance and longer yuan trading hours.

The IMF said that China must not stop the reform program. China's central bank said it would speed up economic reforms and financial opening up, and contribute to promoting world economic growth, safeguarding financial stability and improving global economic governance. China is the world's second-largest diamond consumer.