635482754584155745-AP-CHINA-ECONOMY-38964549Protests over democracy in Hong Kong may be preoccupying the Chinese leadership, but a subject of still greater international importance is being played out this week behind closed doors in Washington. China is bidding to enter the heart of global finance by establishing its currency, the renminbi, as part of an ubiquitous monetary unit used in official transactions around the world. The issue of whether the Chinese should be part of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Right, the composite reserve currency used in official financing, is highly technocratic, but the political questions at stake go to the core of world money and power – and will be discussed, in the background, at the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington this week. The decision on a new SDR structure, to be made in the next 15 months, will influence how China and its currency can play a bigger part in driving world trade, investment and capital flows. The renminbi could eventually challenge the dollar and its pivotal position in world money — which is why the U.S. government and Federal Reserve are examining this with intense interest. More