WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China can continue to make progress towards a floating exchange rate over time without a major disruptions to the yuan's value, a senior International Monetary Fund official said on Thursday.

Markus Rodlauer, deputy director of the IMF's Asia-Pacific department, told a news conference that Chinese authorities have been very "skillful" in navigating a transition away from a hard currency peg to the dollar and avoiding speculative bubbles.

Asked whether he expected another major devaluation, he said: "It will continue to have bumps on the way, but I think it's reasonable to expect that they will remain successful in managing this transition well in a gradual way, without the kind of disruption that you have asked about."

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Sandra Maler)