Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lagarde 'very positive' with talks in China

French finance minister Christine Lagarde (left) talks to Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (right) during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING - FRANCE'S Christine Lagarde, the frontrunner to lead the IMF, told AFP on Thursday that she felt 'very positive' about her talks in Beijing and backed China's right to fill a top job at the global lender.

The French finance minister, seeking to be the International Monetary Fund's first female managing-director, undertook a marathon day of talks on Wednesday in Beijing, after spending the day before in New Delhi with Indian leaders.

China, India and other emerging nations have baulked at Europe's traditional lock on the leadership of the Washington-based IMF, calling the arrangement outdated, and so far have been non-committal in public about her bid.

'I am very satisfied with the meetings I've had in China,' Ms Lagarde said in an interview on the final day of her trip to the Chinese capital.

'I have a very positive feeling following these talks, but it's up to them to convey their decision,' she said.

Ms Lagarde, a 55-year-old former international lawyer, met Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, Finance Minister Xie Xuren and Vice-premier Wang Qishan - China's top official on financial affairs. -- AFP

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