Yuan for Secure Long-term Kitty?
The Yuan (or RMB as it is really called) is currently not a convertible currency on the open market. That means that once you acquire it your are sort of stuck with it. You can convert RMB into other currencies on the ‘street’ in places Like Hong Kong and Thailand but the rate is not great. You can not convert RMB into anything else at any financial institution like a bank.
The RMB will have to be revalued sooner or later and with China’s entry into the WTO the currency will also become ‘tradable’ on the open market. Currently the RMB exchanges at the rate of 8.28 RMB per USD. Eventually that will change, probably slowly at first. The expected rate will be somewhere around 7.2. So for long term it might be a good investment if you are into trading currencies; usually not for the casual investor and also not normally a long term strategy; although the RMB could be the exception.
As far a kitty money goes, it is useless since you can not exchange it to anything and you can not have an ATM card that makes it available. So if you want to get to the money you have a serious problem unless you happen to be cruising past Hong Kong.