"The government has also started to allow yuan to leave the country, with qualified Chinese enterprises directing investments overseas. The three U.S. branches of the state-owned Bank of China are also now offering yuan accounts to its American customers.
The much-maligned currency regime, meanwhile, has allowed the yuan to rise to a 17-year high.
The amount of trading under these new programs is minimal. But China's first tentative steps toward the globalization of its currency are perceived as signs of fundamental progress, said Charles Burton, a former counsellor at the Canadian embassy in Beijing.
"They're able to engage in measures that provide reassurance to the West that they are genuinely intending to move towards market regulation of the currency exchange rate," said Mr. Burton, who is also a research associate at the Canadian International Council and an associate professor at Brock University."