China's central bank has called for a new global reserve currency run by the International Monetary Fund to replace the US dollar.
Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan did not explicitly mention the dollar, but said the crisis showed the dangers of relying on one currency.
With the world's largest currency reserves of $2tn, China is the biggest holder of dollar assets.
Its leaders have often complained about the dollar's volatility.
China has long been uneasy about relying on the dollar for trade and to store its reserves and recently expressed concerns that Washington's efforts to rescue the US economy could erode the value of the currency.
His speech was, unusually, published in both Chinese and English, signalling it was intended for an international audience.
"The outbreak of the crisis and its spillover to the entire world reflected the inherent vulnerabilities and systemic risks in the existing international monetary system," said Mr Zhou in an essay on the People's Bank of China website.
On Tuesday, the dollar weakened against most major currencies following the announcement of a US plan to buy up toxic debt.
'Light in tunnel'
Mr Zhou said the dollar could eventually be replaced as the world's main reserve currency by the Special Drawing Right (SDR), which was created as a unit of account by the IMF in 1969.
"This confirms that China intends to play fully its role of global economic and political power at the next G20 summit," said Sebastien Barbe, an analyst at French financial service firm Calyon in Hong Kong.BBC Economics Pages