Mexican IMF Candidate Takes Campaign to China

Posted June 16th, 2011 at 2:05 am (UTC-5)
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Mexican central bank Governor Agustin Carstens was due in Beijing Thursday to meet with Chinese leaders in his campaign to become head of the International Monetary Fund.

Carstens is scheduled to meet with his Chinese counterpart Zhou Xiaochuan and Finance Minister Xie Xuren.

He and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde were named by the IMF board this week as the remaining candidates to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the fund’s managing director. Strauss-Kahn resigned last month after being charged with attempted rape in New York City.

Lagarde has emerged as the front-runner in the race to head the IMF, with solid support from European capitals and public endorsements from Indonesia and Egypt. Lagarde also visited China last week, and said she was “very positive” about her talks with officials there.

Carstens has the support of 12 Latin American nations, but not of Argentina and Brazil.

China and other emerging nations are calling for an end to a 65-year-old tradition in which a European has always been chosen to head the IMF.

The United States has remained neutral in the current race, but in the past has always supported the European candidate. In return, Europe has always backed the U.S. candidate to lead the World Bank.