US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the Ukraine war could have the effect of accelerating China’s moves to develop alternatives to the current US dollar-dominated international payments infrastructure. Powell was questioned on Thursday in a US Senate Banking Committee hearing on how China might view the US-led efforts to isolate Russia’s economy, especially by damaging its ability to use the US dollar. Senator Jack Reed, a senior Democrat who has focused on China’s rise as a global power, told Powell at the hearing that Beijing will start thinking about “how they can avoid that fate if they get into a similar circumstance” as Russia. China “will look very closely” at the “whole issue of the dollar as the medium of exchange to the world,” said Reed, who chairs the Armed Services Committee. What is China’s Swift equivalent and what are its origins? Reed asked Powell if he was watching the issue and whether he would report back to the US Congress on developments and share views on what he thinks might happen. “Yes to all of the above,” Powell said. Powell said that China has “for some time” been working on the reserve-currency status issues, and been developing a messaging system for international payments that is like the Swift system. The United States and European nations have moved to bar Russia from using Swift, which is vital to international payments in US dollars. “That’s been going on for some time,” Powell said of Chinese efforts to insulate themselves from what Reed described as “the same thing that they’re observing in Russia now.” “But this may change the trajectory,” Powell added.