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China Pledges New Yuan Flexibility Ahead of Hu's US Visit

China's central bank has promised to improve its yuan exchange rate, as President Hu Jintao prepares to visit the United States later this month for talks in which both nations will try to resolve their long-running currency dispute.

The People's Bank of China said Thursday it will "enhance the flexibility" of the exchange rate system while keeping the yuan's value at a "stable" and "reasonable" level.

China has long issued similar promises in response to complaints from Washington that Beijing keeps the yuan artificially weak to give Chinese exporters a price advantage. The yuan's value did rise three percent against the dollar last year, but the United States wants the currency to appreciate more quickly against the dollar to help reduce the huge U.S. trade deficit with China.

The White House says President Barack Obama will press Mr. Hu to rebalance the Chinese currency when the two leaders meet in Washington January 19.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday that Beijing has made efforts to increase imports from the United States.

Some information for this report privided by AFP and Reuters.