Replacing the dollar?
There are indications that China intends to make the yuan a greater factor in international trade and investment, a development that, if successful, would have major implications for the global financial system. HSBC economist Qu Hongbin believes that the yuan could become one of the top three currencies in the world by 2012, with some $2 trillion in trade transacted in the Chinese currency each year.
To an extent, a global role for the yuan appears inevitable. During the 19th century, when the British Empire reigned supreme, the pound was the top international currency. Since World War II, that role has been played by the dollar, with the U.S. having by far the world's biggest economy. Now that China is rapidly charging up the list — it currently ranks third and could overtake Japan as No. 2 as soon as next year.
See how China is now trying to boost the global standing of the yuan in Time's article on China's Plans for Replacing the Dollar.