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Market turmoil likely to top agenda at France-China talks

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-21

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the G20 presidency this year, is set to meet his Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Thursday for talks expected to focus on the recent financial market turmoil.

REUTERS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Thursday for impromptu talks that will most probably centre on the recent turbulence in global financial markets.

Sarkozy, whose country holds the Group of 20 presidency this year, is adding a stop-off in China to a trip to the French South Pacific territory of New Caledonia following his discussions with several world leaders on sinking world markets.

His office said he would meet Hu at 5 p.m. local time (0900 GMT) on Thursday for talks followed by a dinner. He will fly on to New Caledonia the same night, for his first visit to the archipelago territory since taking power in 2007.

On what will be Sarkozy’s sixth visit to China as French president, the two leaders may discuss a Franco-German proposal to tax financial transactions, a highly divisive idea that would only be effective if supported widely around the world.

They will most probably also discuss France’s G20 agenda before a likely G20 ministerial meeting on the margins of the annual IMF and World Bank gatherings in Washington in late September and a summit of G7 finance ministers in Marseille, France, earlier that month.

Sarkozy has been pressing to get Chinese backing for his G20 goals, which include seeking ways to lessen economic imbalances and reduce market speculation and commodity price volatility.

Only a hard-fought compromise kept Beijing on board at G20 finance talks in February to agree on indicators to gauge global economic imbalances.

The two leaders last met in March, also in Beijing, when Sarkozy visited China to attend a seminar in the city of Nanjing on ideas to reform the international monetary system.

They also met last November on a state visit by Hu to France where Sarkozy received him with full military honours.

The NATO-led military intervention in Libya has put some strain on relations after China abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote authorising a no-fly zone over Libya and has been critical of coalition air strikes.
 

Date created : 2011-08-21

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