The head of the People's Bank of China said the government planned "further steps" in 2005 to move the Chinese currency toward full convertibility, but warned against pressure to speed up the changes, saying that "progress will be steady." In a speech in Beijing Zhou Xiaochuan said the yuan "should be gradually moved toward full convertibility.'' China's foreign exchange reserves, the world's second-largest after Japan's, rose 51% in 2004 to a record US$609.9bn, driven by surging exports, direct investment from overseas and speculators betting on a revaluation of the yuan, which has been pegged at 8.277 to the US dollar for the past decade.
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