China Prez: US Buck Is Has-Been Currency Giant
President Hu Jintao aims to make yuan global heavyweight
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2011 1:19 AM CST
Chinese President Hu Jintao delivers a speech at a Communist Party plenary session last week in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Ma Zhancheng)

(Newser) – More from Hu Jintao's rare interview with the American press: An international currency system ruled by the American dollar is a "product of the past," complains China's president, who indicated the yuan was on a path toward becoming an international currency. President Hu Jintao conceded it would be a "fairly long process" before the yuan is a world heavyweight, but indicated that the US dollar and American fiscal policy is undermining the global economy. "China has made important contributions to the world economy in terms of total economic output and trade, and the yuan has played a role in world economic development," he said.

Chinese officials have criticized the Federal Reserve's decision to inject $600 billion into the economy, arguing it will will weaken the dollar at the expense of foreign exports and trigger inflation abroad, notes the BBC. But the US has lashed China for manipulating the yuan to boost Chinese exports, and has called for the nation to appreciate its currency. Hu made his comments ahead of meetings this week in Washington, where he promised to cultivate cooperation between the nations.