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Bernanke: China Currency More Market-Oriented

FILE - Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke.
FILE - Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The former head of the U.S. central bank says China is moving in a more "market-oriented" direction with recent changes in the way it regulates currency exchange.

Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday that Washington has been asking Beijing to take market forces into account when setting the exchange rate "for a long time."

Speaking at the Brookings Institution, Bernanke said China's currency had "appreciated considerably" because of its tie to the dollar, which "put pressure" on China's economy.

The change pushed down the value of China's currency, which means Chinese-made products are less expensive and more competitive on global markets.

China's many critics in Washington have accused Beijing of manipulating its currency, the RMB, to boost its economy at the expense of its trading partners.

While Chinese officials still manage the exchange rate in a narrow range, the previous day's rate plays a more prominent role in where the rate is set.