The International Monetary Fund's decision to include China's yuan in its elite reserve currencies basket was based solely on "technical" considerations, spokesman Gerry Rice said Thursday.
The IMF yuan announcement on Monday sparked allegations that the IMF was bowing to pressure from China as Beijing seeks greater global recognition of its economic power.
"This was a technical process that went on over an extended period of time and the decision is firmly based in technical criteria," Rice said in response to a question at a news conference.
In its review of its SDR currencies basket, which takes place once every five years, the IMF determined that the yuan, also known as the renminbi, met the two conditions needed -- wide use and "freely usable".
"Those criteria have been laid out from the very beginning" and have been explained, Rice said.
"This has been done in the most transparent way possible," he said, adding that decision to include the yuan was "fully endorsed" by the IMF's 188 member nations.
Rice also emphasized there was "no linkage" between the yuan decision and the impatience of several emerging-market powers, including China, over US-stalled reforms that would give them more weight in the institution.
The yuan will join the dollar, euro, yen and pound in the IMF basket on October 1, 2016.