<B>Gillard trip underlines Australia's dependence on China By Monica Attard, for CNN</B> April 5, 2013 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT) (CNN) -- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is expected to secure a major currency conversion deal with her nation's number one trading partner as she begins a six-day visit to China Friday. The deal has ramifications beyond Beijing-Canberra ties as a step towards full convertibility of the yuan on international markets, denting the primacy of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency of choice. Currently, Chinese and Australian companies must use the U.S. dollar as an intermediary for trade. Leading what she called the "most senior Australian political delegation" ever to visit China, Prime Minister Gillard will also be amongst the first western leaders to meet China's new President Xi Jinping. Under the currency deal that Prime Minister Gillard is expected to announce whilst in Shanghai, the Australian dollar would become directly convertible to Chinese yuan, overcoming the need to first convert to U.S. dollars. This would remove expensive exchange rate issues, cutting the cost to Australians of doing business in China, though the Prime Minister remained coy when asked to confirm the deal. Australia's dependence on China as it marches toward global economic dominance has been clear for many years now. In 2011-12, China was again Australia's largest two-way trading partner for goods and services, with trade topping $128 billion. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/04/world/asia/australia-gillard-china-trip/ More and more such deals as China dominates economically.