China urges increased use of national currencies

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for an increase in the use of national currencies in trade between members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Speaking at an SCO summit on Tuesday via videolink from Beijing, the Chinese leader pointed to a variety of financial instruments that members should focus on to expand mutual economic ties. 

“It is necessary to ramp up cooperation in sovereign digital currency and work on the establishment of an SCO development bank,” Xi stated. He added that Beijing was ready to provide its partners with access to Chinese markets and share its experience. 

Russia and China have been actively replacing the US dollar with national currencies in bilateral settlements. Trade between the two nations has continued to accelerate after hitting a historic high of $190.3 billion in annual terms in 2022. Exports and imports have surged at a double-digit pace since the beginning of this year. 

According to customs data, Russia-China trade soared to $93.8 billion in January-May, marking a 40.7% increase compared with a year ago. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov recently said that bilateral trade is on track to surpass the target of $200 billion a year earlier than anticipated.

The 23rd SCO summit is being chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The organization was founded in 2001 as an economic and security bloc by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017.

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