Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, is calling the inclusion of China's renminbi as the fifth currency in an elite group of the world's reserve currencies "an important and historic milestone" for the international financial system.
Lagarde said the expansion of the IMF's key currencies to include the Chinese renminbi was a recognition of the progress China has made in reforming its monetary and financial systems.
Lagarde spoke on Friday, one day before the Oct. 1 expansion of the IMF's basket of reserve currencies to include the renminbi. The other currencies in the basket are the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, the British pound and Europe's common currency, the euro. The last change to the basket was the addition of the euro in 1999.