The International Monetary Fund says the Chinese yuan will join a basket of the world's leading currencies.
The IMF announced that the yuan "met all existing criteria" to be included with the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen and the British pound as one of the currencies used for the global organization's Special Drawing Rights, which is used as the standard for dealing with its 188 member governments.
China is the world's second largest economy. Currency traders and economists say the move should encourage the government in Beijing to deliver on promises to make the yuan "freely tradable" and to open up its financial system.
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The IMF's decision is set to take effect in October 2016.