The latest meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers in a resort outside Beijing has been preceded by a long-running debate over demands for China to allow a substantial appreciation of its currency, the renminbi.
Chinese officials, however, have been focusing on a more mundane foreign exchange issue in recent months: how to build a functioning foreign exchange market that can handle day-to-day trading of its currency.
In the 90 days since China dropped a decade-long peg to the dollar and moved to a tightly managed float, the People's Bank of China (PBoC), the central bank, has announced a host of reforms to its once tightly constrained foreign exchange market.
All of the everyday trading institutions and products that have operated in overseas foreign exchange markets for many years have to be licensed and set up in China, and legions of new staff trained.
Barely a few months ago, only seven banks were licensed to trade in the interbank forwards market in Shanghai. Now there are 43 banks, although not all have yet begun operations.
"I think they are urgently trying to build up the infrastructure to have a proper hedging market," said Stephen Green, of Standard Chartered in Shanghai.
John Snow, US Treasury secretary, has taken note of the changes during his recent tour of China ahead of the G20 meeting, visiting Shanghai's financial markets and the industrial city of Chengdu, in western China, before arriving in Beijing.
Rather than banging the drum on the renminbi, like the US Congress, he has focused on the related matter of the need for China to promote domestic demand-led growth rather than relying on export demand and investment to spur growth. He has also promoted financial sector development, including calling on China to open its markets more to foreign financial firms.
As well as taking part in the G20 meetings, Mr Snow held a series of meetings with top Chinese leaders, to assess Beijing's promise to move to greater currency flexibility, and the time-table for such a move.
In the face of intense foreign pressure, the authorities in Beijing have maintained a consistent line, that they will introduce a more flexible exchange rate, but in a gradual manner.
"We will not take direction from other people," said Jin Renqing, the finance minister. "Using revaluation of the renminbi to resolve global imbalances, particularly the imbalances of certain countries, is impossible and also unnecessary."
From a Chinese perspective, the frantic behind-the-scenes activity gives the lie to charges out of Washington in particular that the initial 2.1 per cent revaluation of the currency in July was simply a ruse to puncture mounting US political pressure on the issue.
The renminbi has appreciated by only 0.25 per cent since then, less than the up-or-down 0.3 per cent daily trading range allowed by the PBoC. But it has appreciated relatively more against the euro and the Japanese yen, by more than 1.0 per cent for both currencies.
"A lot of people look at the dollar and say nothing is happening but I don't think that is fair," said a Beijing economist.
The PBoC's focus has long been the construction of a properly regulated foreign exchange system, not the value of the currency itself.
In China itself, the bank has faced a different set of pressures, initially the need to build a consensus among top leaders for the July change and now to demonstrate the system is working.
"It is always the same in China -- the hardware is always there but the problem is the skills of the traders themselves," said Zuo Xiaole, the chief economist at Galaxy Securities. "Even the banks do not have this kind of knowledge, let alone the enterprises who are their clients."
While the G20 is not expected to focus on the Rmb specifically, it will have on the agenda the issue of "global imbalances", which is code in China's case for its fast-growing foreign reserves, mainly held in US dollars.
The PBoC announced lately that China's foreign reserves, mostly parked in US Treasuries, had reached $769bn, adding $58bn in the third quarter alone.
Much as it does China's critics in the US, the build-up in foreign reserves troubles many Chinese economists, who see the accumulation as wasteful.
"It's not affordable for China to continue to absorb such a huge increase in foreign exchange reserves," Yu Yongding, a member of the central Bank's advisory board said.