Chinese officials to skip IMF meetings

Chinese officials to skip IMF meetings

TOKYO - Associated Press
Chinese officials to skip IMF meetings

Chinese Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan will forgo the IMF meeting. REUTERS photo

China’s central bank governor and finance minister will not be attending International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meetings in Tokyo this week, a Japanese official said yesterday - cancellations that come as the two Asian giants remain at odds over a cluster of tiny islands that both sides claim.

The IMF confirmed that People’s Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan, who was scheduled to give the event’s closing speech on Oct. 14, would not be coming to Tokyo, citing scheduling problems. The IMF said his deputy, Yi Gang, will represent him at the meeting and will deliver the Oct. 14 lecture.

No confirmations from Chinese side

The IMF could not confirm that Finance Minister Xie Xuren had also cancelled his trip.

China’s central bank and Finance Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

The Japanese finance ministry official who confirmed the no-shows would not provide a reason. Furthermore, he requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea has triggered widespread protests in China and attacks on Japanese-owned factories and stores, and also appears to be spilling over into the economic arena, threatening a shaky economic recovery in Japan after last year’s tsunami and nuclear disasters.