By F. William Engdahl (Always an interesting read)
Russia is about to take another major step towards liberating the Ruble from the Dollar System. Its Finance Ministry just revealed it is considering issuing Russian state debt in Chinese Yuan. That would be an elegant way to decouple from the dependence and blackmail pressures from the US Treasury financial terrorism operations while at the same time strengthening the bonds between China and Russia–Washington’s worst geopolitical nightmare.
Russian Deputy Minister of Finance, Sergei Storchak, announced that his ministry is making a careful study of what would be required to issue Russian bonds denominated in Chinese Yuan. The latest news is part of a long-term strategy between Russia and China that goes at the heart of American hegemony—the role of the dollar as the leading world central bank reserve currency.
The dollar is used in some 60% of central bank reserves today. The second largest is the Euro. Now clearly China is carefully moving, as the world’s largest trading nation, to create its Renminbi or Chinese Yuan as another major reserve currency. That has huge geopolitical implications. So long as the US dollar is the leading reserve currency, the world must de facto buy US dollar Treasury bonds for its reserves. That has allowed Washington to have budget deficits since 1971 when the dollar left the gold exchange standard. In effect, China, Japan, Russia, Germany—all trade surplus countries, finance Washington’s deficits that allow her to make wars around the world. It is a paradox that Russia and China at least, are determined to end as soon as possible.
Last year Russia and China signed enormous 30-year energy deals for delivery of Russian oil and gas to China. The payments will be in local currencies not in dollars. Already in 2014 settlement in national currencies between China and Russia in bilateral trade increased nine times over 2013. Lin Zhi, head of the Europe and Central Asia Department of the Chinese Ministry of Economic Development announced last November that, “About 100 Russian commercial banks are now opening corresponding accounts for settlements in yuan. The list of commercial banks where ordinary depositors can open an account in yuan is also growing.” Last November 18 Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank became the first Russian bank to begin financing letters of credit in Chinese yuan.
What all this indicates is that Russia and China are carefully planning a long-term strategy of getting out from dependence on the US currency, something that, as the US sanctions last year revealed, make both countries vulnerable to US currency wars of devastating impact.
China has just been accepted “in principle” by the Group of 7 finance ministers to have its yuan included in the International Monetary Fund basket of currencies making up IMF Special Drawing Rights. Today only US dollar, Euro and Japanese Yen are included in the basket. Including the yuan would be a huge step towards making the yuan a recognized international reserve currency, and at the same time would weaken the dollar share.