LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Looser foreign exchange policies in emerging Asia, particularly China, would benefit everyone but the desire for change may have diminished post-crisis, European Central Bank policymaker Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said on Tuesday.

Policymakers have urged parts of Asia to allow their dollar-pegged currencies to strengthen to ease imbalances posed by big current account surpluses in countries such as China and large deficits in the United States and elsewhere.

The removal of these rigidities would contribute to a better-balanced world economy, with benefits both in surplus and deficit countries, Bini Smaghi said in an article in the Financial Times.

But the ECB Executive Board Member said the global crisis seems to have strengthened the influence of those parts of society favouring a continuation of the current regime and weakened the voice of those asking for much-needed reform.

This is an additional risk for international policy co-operation and for the recovery of the world economy, he said.

Western policymakers had hoped China would consider allowing the yuan to appreciate further this year as the world economy recovers. Pressure for a change is expected to intensify at G20 meetings of developed and developing nations this year.

In the midst of the global crisis, the benefits of the status quo seem to be more visible than the potential advantages of a change in policy, especially in emerging economies that have been able to grow at a sustained pace in 2009, Bini Smaghi said. (Reporting by Matt Falloon, editing by Mike Peacock)

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