The head of the Chinese central bank has called for a new global currency controlled by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying such a move would give governments particularly in the developing world the ability to manage their economies more efficiently.
In an online essay Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, said the global financial crisis had exposed the danger of relying on one nation's currency for international payments.
The essay, released on the bank's website late on Monday, did not mention the US dollar by name, but the vast majority of international finance is carried out in dollars.
The comments come ahead of a major meeting of leaders from the Group of 20 major economies in London which will focus on measures to alleviate the global economic crisis.
During the meeting, beginning on April 2, China is expected to call for developing economies to have a bigger say in global finance and step up pressure for changes to a system dominated by the US dollar and Western governments.
The unusual step of publishing Zhou's essay in both Chinese and English versions is seen as indicating his comments are aimed at an international audience ahead of the G20 meeting.
China has become increasingly assertive in economic issues and while the global financial crisis has hit Chinese export industries hard, its leaders are also viewing the crisis as a potential opportunity to increase China's global clout.
Here's a safe bet: President Obama will not dismiss this out of hand, but call for discussion and study.