got what it wanted in Washington’s financial summit — a promise of a bigger role for in global finance — but gave no sign Sunday whether it will respond by using any of its $1.9 trillion in reserves in a bailout fund.
By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer
China has been pushing for developing countries generally — and itself specifically — to have more influence at the International Monetary Fund and other global bodies. Analysts say that might be Beijing’s price to give in to foreign appeals to dip into its reserves and contribute money toward an IMF emergency loan fund for struggling countries.
The Washington summit was an “important and positive” step toward “the reform of the international financial structure,”Qin Gang said in a statement. It made no mention of possible bailout contributions, and a man who answered the phone at the ministry press office said he had no information.
Leaders from 21 nations, including China, and four international organizations attended the emergency two-day summit intended to address the financial crisis sweeping the globe.
Summit participants vowed Saturday at the conclusion of the two-day conference to cooperate more closely, keep a sharper eye out for potential problems and give bigger roles to fast-rising nations. But the leaders avoided many of the harder details leaving them to be worked out before their next summit, after President George W. Bush is gone and Barack Obama is in the White House.
China says it will cooperate with the IMF but Chinese officials say its most important role will be to preserve global growth by keeping its own economy healthy. Beijing announced a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) last week, at a time of slowing economic growth and fears that falling exports could lead to layoffs and factory closures.
“China’s economic power is growing, so China could contribute and help ease the financial crisis,” said , a prominent economist and Cabinet adviser. “But the first priority is to keep our own economy growing. That will benefit every country in the world.”