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Lagarde Meets China’s Wang to Seek Support for IMF Job

France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Europe’s debt crisis and the aftermath of the Arab Spring will be priorities for the International Monetary Fund’s next chief as she kept up her campaign for the post. Photographer: Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg

Christine Lagarde met Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan today as she sought to garner support for her campaign to become the International Monetary Fund’s next managing director.

“I am here not to officially ask for China’s backing, but I hope to introduce my bid,” the Xinhua News Agency reported the French finance minister as saying. “China is very important for the IMF.”

Lagarde is visiting China as part of her push to take over the leadership of the IMF after Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned last month. While she has gained backing from European nations for the post, emerging countries including China, India, South Africa and Brazil have called for an end to the convention of naming the IMF’s head from Europe.

Wang and Lagarde also discussed issues including the Group of 20 summit in Cannes, France, in November and the reform of the financial industry and international economic standards, Xinhua said.

Mexico’s central bank Governor Agustin Carstens is also vying for the IMF job, which the organization aims to fill by the end of the month. Lagarde’s trip to China followed a visit to India.

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