China calls for democratic selection of IMF leader

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, May 26, 2011
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China said Thursday that the next International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief should be selected transparently and through democratic consultation.

The selection of the managing director of the IMF and other international financial institutions should be based upon openness, transparency and merit, and better represent emerging markets and reflect changes in the global economic structure, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told reporters in Beijing.

Jiang's statement came a day after French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde formally launched her bid for the job.

French government spokesman Francois Baroin claimed Tuesday in an interview that China is "favorable" to the prospect of Lagarde succeeding Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last week over sex assault charges.

However, Baroin did not back up his statement and China has so far declined to publicly comment on his remarks.

A source in Lagarde's entourage told AFP that Lagarde would visit China and Brazil in the coming days "to make herself better known, to explain her candidacy and lobby," adding that the details of the visits are still being finalized.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that while Washington had not yet taken an official stance, it "unofficially" welcomed highly qualified female candidates to lead international agencies.

However, an EU diplomatic source told Reuters Thursday that the current draft G8 summit communique does not endorse Lagarde as a candidate to be the new IMF head.

A statement issued Tuesday by the BRICS, the bloc of major emerging economies, urged the IMF to reject the convention of choosing the IMF chief based on a candidate's nationality.

"It seemed that the response of the BRICS nations to the selection of the IMF chief was hasty and it is unlikely that the old tradition will be overturned this time," Mei Xinyu, an expert on international economics with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times.

"However, the unity of emerging economies is important as it serves as a stark reminder to developed countries and the future IMF chief that the interests of developing countries must be fully respected," Mei added.

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