Is China preparing for a “Super SDR” to challenge the US dollar?

China has made every effort to bypass the US/EU financial institutions by creating parallel structures such as the AIIB, BRICS bank, launching initiatives such as New Silk Road, OBOR, and CIPs to replace SWIFT. They have also built-up their gold reserves in view of a possible gold-backed Yuan.

So why is China so committed to the IMF?
The Chinese have met all IMF requests such as reporting their gold reserves, changing central bank accounting. Now, most recently, they even changed how they report GDP.
Source: China changes how it reports GDP to meet IMF standards.

China has also fervently pursued the goal to have the Yuan accepted as one of the SDR reserves currency.
What for? The IMF’s “SDR” (Special Drawing Rights) is an archaic structure that became obsolete once the dollar came off the gold exchange standard in the early 1970.

The Chinese seem to believe there’s an important role to be played by the SDR and the IMF:

According to Zhou Xiaochuan, the influential governor of the people’s bank of China, SDR “serves as a light in the tunnel for reform of the monetary system” . He put forward a proposal with a number of actions to promote the SDR as a supra-sovereign reserve currency.
Zhou Xiaochuan proposes an updated and enlarged SDR, which includes the Yuan, to act as a supra-sovereign reserve currency, and the IMF as the institution to manage SDR subscription and redemption between trading countries.

More details on this can be read at these sources:
Source: Reform the international monetary system

Source: Keynes’ farsighted “Bancor” proposal not adopted at Bretton Woods Regrettable

Source: Debate about the SDR as a global reserve currency

These ideas were also recently echoed by Justin Lin , a World Bank’s former chief economist.
Source: “Replace Dollar with Super Currency”

It would seem that the Chinese view SDR as an interim solution in their long-term quest to displace the US dollar as reserve currency. There isn’t, at present, any national currency (gold-backed or not) able to supplant the US dollar.
SDR, being a derivative of the US dollar (and a few other major national currencies) would not be a replacement, but rather a reduction, of the role of the US dollar.

This is not a totally new concept: SDR already fulfilled the role of the reserve currency back in 1960s, when they satisfied the need for reserve assets while the major reserve currency (USD) was linked to gold.
According to the financial times, currently SDR represents less than 4% of all non-gold foreign reserves.
Source: The RMB and SDR: Symbol over substance.

In other words: SDR is currently insignificant.

In order to make the SDR relevant, a capital increase at the IMF would need to accompany the addition of any new currency in the SDR.
Some estimates place this capital requirement at USD 2 Trillion.
Source: IMF calls for dollar alternative

China, of course, has that kind of money, and could provide the financial backing for the SDR. This also provides them with an elegant way to recycle their massive US dollar reserves.

In order to assign greater power to China(and raise capital), the IMF leadership has proposed reforms for itself such as raising capital requirements and improving the voting system to include emerging market economies. Not surprisingly these reforms were blocked by the US.

Source: US blocking IMF reform targeted at China
Source: US fails to approve IMF reforms

This has caused unhappiness amongst the Europeans, who would presumably like to see the IMF with more capital in order to help them with the bail out of Greece and Ukraine and perhaps also with the reconstruction Syria.
Source: China knocking on door of IMF’s major league, US wavers
Source: IMF approves USD 17.5 bn bailout package for Ukraine

Christine Lagarde, frustrated with the US stalling the reforms, has indicated there she has set in motion a “Plan B”.
Source: IMF eyes “Plan B” for reforming itself without U.S
Source: Christine Lagarde warns US over IMF reform failings
Source: IMF governance reform: Time for plan B

But what exactly is “Plan B”? To bypass the US on the SDR and capital increase decision?
Here is what the head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Djisselbloem, said at this year’s annual IMF meeting: “China is becoming more and more active in our institutions, which is welcome … The U.S. should make sure that it stays very much involved and in the lead, instead of taking the current defensive position”
Source: The US should ratify IMF reform to avoid Isolation: Eurogroup Head

The IMF governing board is due to meet end of October 2015 for their quinquennial meeting (it takes place once every five years).
Source: IMF work progresses on 2015 SDR basket review

The IMF board has already stated that any decision in October 2015 to include the Yuan will only be implemented in October 2016, in order to allow financial professionals “sufficient lead time to adjust to the change”.
Source: IMF will not include Yuan in reserve currency basket until October 2016

Apparently, the inclusion of the Yuan in the SDR is not a question of “if” but “when”…
Source: IMF press release

So is the IMF about to throw the US under the bus and go ahead with reforms without their “master”?
Are we about to witness the announcement of a new “super” SDR, which includes the Yuan and financial backing from China?
PS: I know the idea of IMF and SDR may sound boring, but it’s part of China’s financial war (to accompany the “hot” war going on right now in Syria)

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