Sarkozy to make stopover in China

Updated: 2011-08-23 07:57

By Fu Jing (China Daily)

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BRUSSELS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will make a brief stopover in Beijing to meet his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao on Thursday.

The two are expected to discuss ways to solve the recent turbulence in global financial markets and find an end to the economic recession.

Sarkozy is adding the stopover in China to a trip to the French South Pacific territory of New Caledonia following talks with several world leaders on sinking world markets, Reuters reported.

The French president will meet Hu at 5 pm on Thursday for talks followed by dinner. He will fly to New Caledonia the same night for his first visit to the archipelago territory since becoming president in 2007, Reuters reported.

"Sarkozy's visit in Beijing will focus on the recent fears and turmoil seen across major stock exchanges around the world, fueled by the eurozone debt crisis and poor economic performance in the US and Europe," said Professor Shen Wei from France-based ESSCA School of Management.

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

"Sarkozy has been effective in rebuilding relationships with China," said Shen, citing that the country successfully lobbied China for the nomination of Christine Lagarde as the head of the International Monetary Fund earlier this year.

Reuters reported that the two leaders may discuss a Franco-German proposal to tax financial transactions, a highly divisive idea that would only be effective if widely supported around the world.

The agency also said they will most probably discuss France's G20 agenda before a likely G20 ministerial meeting on the margins of the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank gatherings in Washington in late September and a summit of G7 finance ministers in Marseille, France, earlier that month.

France currently holds the rotating presidency of the G20.

France organized a high-level seminar on global financial system reform in March in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, with Sarkozy in attendance. Hu met Sarkozy in Beijing before the meeting.