Can China’s Gold-Backed ‘Petro-Yuan’ End Dominance of the US Dollar?

The US dollar is being challenged by China’s oil-futures trading market that opened last month. That is because China is the world’s largest importer of oil and the Saudis are a large exporter. If the Saudis can be convinced to sell more of their oil to China, the yuan-denominated oil contracts and the launch of the gold-backed petro yuan could be a serious blow against the US petro dollar as the world’s reserve currency. However, the US has forged close political and military bonds to the Saudis, and dissolution of those bonds likely would be a slow process. China’s ace in the hole is its announced intention to make the yuan fully convertible to gold which, if actually done, would make it more attractive globally than the US dollar. Other oil exporting countries such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela will be anxious to deal with China and to escape the threat of US monetary sanctions. The big contest has begun.

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