Senior Chinese Officials Skips IMF and World Bank Meetings in Japan

Created: 2012-10-10 12:49 EST

Category: Business
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The IMF and World Bank are having their annual meetings in Tokyo today but a few faces were missing from the expected line up. The governor of China’s Central Bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, and China’s Finance Minister, Xie Xuren, will not be in attendance.
 
In their place will be Yi Gang, Vice Head of the People's Bank of China and Vice Finance Minister, Zhu Guangyao. It’s not customary for lower level officials to lead a delegation to meetings of such international importance, but according to the Chinese regime, the senior officials were unavailable. 
 
The official reason for the last minute change has been blamed on a scheduling conflict. But Chinese state media has linked the Chinese regime’s islands dispute with Japan to the delegation swap. There is also speculation that the officials wanted to stay in China ahead of the leadership transition on November 8th—the preparation for which has consumed the Communist leaders in recent months. 
 
Japan's Finance Minister Koriki Jojima said it is regrettable the senior Chinese officials could not attend. He suggests the political snub only hurts the Chinese regime itself. 
 
[Koriki Jojima, Japanese Finance Minister]: 
"As was noted in the question, I was told that Finance Minister Xie and Central bank Governor Zhou would not be attending. As the Tokyo meetings are very important meetings, having a country's representatives not participate is very regrettable."
 
Jojima ended on a positive note, saying that at least China did not pull out completely.
 
[Koriki Jojima, Japanese Finance Minister]: 
"However as they are sending a representative group, and I believe that Japan-China relations are extremely important. We hope to keep perspective and conduct our relations."
 
Sino-Japan relations reached an all-time low last month when Japan nationalized the Diaoyu, or Senkaku Islands. Taiwan, Japan, and China all lay claim to the islands, which are believed to sit atop a rich supply of oil and natural gas.