News / Asia

China Snubs IMF, World Bank Meetings in Japan

A man is silhouetted against the logo of the World Bank at the main venue for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meeting in Tokyo, October 10, 2012.
A man is silhouetted against the logo of the World Bank at the main venue for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meeting in Tokyo, October 10, 2012.
Political tensions between China and Japan overshadowed the annual gathering of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Tokyo Wednesday. Top officials representing the world's second-largest economy are not attending.

In an unusual break with its own protocol, China is not sending its key senior officials to the most important annual round of global meetings of finance ministers and central bankers.

The World Bank confirms China's finance minister, Xie Xuren, and the governor of the People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, will be represented by lower ranking officials.

It was previously announced that the four top Chinese banks would not be at the gathering, which is being attended by relevant officials from 180 countries.

​The downgrading of the Chinese delegation is seen as a snub of host Japan, with which an old territorial dispute has recently escalated.

China cited a tight schedule as the reason its top officials cannot attend. In Beijing Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was asked if the officials’ absence indicates China’s unhappiness over the territorial dispute.

A group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen from the city government of Tokyo's survey vessel in the East China Sea, September 2, 2012.A group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen from the city government of Tokyo's survey vessel in the East China Sea, September 2, 2012.
A group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen from the city government of Tokyo's survey vessel in the East China Sea, September 2, 2012.
A group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen from the city government of Tokyo's survey vessel in the East China Sea, September 2, 2012.
He says Japan’s purchase of the Diaoyu Islands is a serious infringement upon China’s sovereignty.  He says Japan should acknowledge the dispute between the two countries and hold talks on the issue. 

Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba calls China's absence “very disappointing.”

Chief government spokesman Osamu Fujimura says it is a pity Chinese officials have declined to attend such an important meeting

Fujimura says since economic exchanges between Japan and China are important the Japanese government will take a broader view and continue to try communicating with China.

There is concern the feud over the group of small islands claimed by China but controlled by Japan could adversely affect their economies and others in the region.

Bank of France governor Christian Noyer calls the absence of his Chinese counterpart and the finance minister a diplomatic issue he should refrain from commenting on.

"I hope that the discussions in the various meetings will be successful in any case," he said.

After Japan's government moved last month to buy the disputed islands - which are called Senkaku in Japanese - from a private Japanese owner, relations with China quickly deteriorated.

Nationwide protests erupted in China. Japanese automakers saw September car sales in China plunge.

Share prices of automakers came under pressure in Wednesday's trading, helping to send the Tokyo market to a two-month low with the benchmark Nikkei index closing two percent lower for the day.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Habi from: Canada
October 13, 2012 12:27 PM
by: gotto from: Canada
October 12, 2012 11:15 AM
"Japan gave China big monetary aid and helped it to become modern nation."

NUTS, If your home were invaded and your daughters and your wife were raped/killed and all the man were either killed or damaged, I would like to ask you how much monetary aid you need so that you can show gratitude to the robber/killer who damaged your family, raped your daughter and wife and killed your father? especially the robber don’t’ want to follow Justice and international law (like Potsdam Declaration) and keep trying to rob your land.

China development depends on Chinese and cooperation with the world, not only because of Japan. BTW, Japan got huge amounts of money and benefits from China market, but their product quality (like car) is lower than those sold to North America. Japan have made brutal war crime in WWII and got lots of money from China, and have never paid reparation to individual Chinese, China and Taiwan. Monetary aid from Japan has been stopped long time ago, these aid in the past decades is far less than the benefits Japanese got/robbed in China, and is far from enough compared with the crime Japanese made in China in WWII.

In Response

by: gotto from: Canada
October 15, 2012 7:48 AM
Barbaric Chinese attacked Japanese businessmen in Shanghai and injured them.

Chinese are underdeveloped, uncivilized and brainwashed Neanderthals who don't know civilization.

Chinese are sick men in Asia.

by: mhee from: Philippines
October 13, 2012 9:51 AM
China is too confident with its economy,how if all the nation will also boycott their product,"The China's downfall", as NO MAN IS AN ISLAND!!!!!

by: Mhee from: Philippines
October 13, 2012 7:39 AM
China is like a crocodile who claims all Islands in Asia, bullying the small countries but we wont give up!Its our territory and and we will fight for it by hook or by crook !

by: RLEE from: China
October 12, 2012 4:48 AM
Ask not why China is angry. Ask what Japan did to our nation.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
October 13, 2012 12:51 AM
Not a few of Chinese political leaders studied at Japanese universities and learned about democracy and modern sosiety.
In Response

by: gotto from: Canada
October 12, 2012 11:15 AM
Japan gave China big monetary aid and helped it to become modern nation.

China forgot Japanese gratitude.

by: RLEE from: China
October 12, 2012 2:23 AM
To USA: your Pearl Habor was bombed by Japan.
To Japan: you slaughtered the innocent Chinese people.
To the world: Fine, there is nothing permanent on this planet. Fine, we Chinese are barbaric, we Chinese are ill educated, we Chinese shall go to hell. Then hell it is! Let's fight for our claims! You can crush us, you can never subdue us!

by: RLEE from: China
October 12, 2012 1:40 AM
Idle words! It is between Japan and China. Mind your own business, you meddling fools!

by: gotto from: Canada
October 11, 2012 10:31 AM
Chinese are uncivilized, underdeveloped and barbaric second class citizens who vandalize and loot Japanese shops in China.
They haven't changed since the Boxers era. Bfr condemning Japan, they should condemn their own corrupt government. Chinese are sickmen in Asia.
In Response

by: gotto from: Canada
October 12, 2012 7:32 AM
You are brainwashed by corrupt Chinese government.
Foolish Chinese are all deceived by Chinese Communist Party.
Only the top bureaucrats of the Communist Party get all the wealth of China and foolish Chinese people have to work like slaves.
Don't you realize such a simple fact?
In Response

by: LHW from: Tokyo
October 12, 2012 12:30 AM
See gotto from Canada, I think he is most cultivated Japanese who is representative.
I agree that all Japanese like gotto, they are "developed" by American and are classy and aristocratic.
But you aristocratic Japanese, please do not sell your noble goods like cars to uncivilized, underdeveloped and barbaric second class citizens. And withdraw all your companies fro dirty China. Otherwise, Japanese should feel ashamed.

by: Hoang from: Canada
October 11, 2012 6:25 AM
China has territorial disputes with all its neighbours. China already took control of land and islands from Vietnam through force and intimidation in 1973, 2000 and 2008. Because Vietnam is a small, poor communist country, the world says nothing. Likewise for the invasion of Tibet. Similarly, China uses vague historical claim 'since ancient times' to claim Senkaku islands from Japan.

by: K lc from: CHINA NJ
October 11, 2012 4:06 AM
Maybe it will become worse in future,
althought i do not want to see this situation ,but obviousely it is hard to have a agreement between the governments and people of two countries.
At last, war is only method

by: Samurai from: Japan
October 10, 2012 11:28 PM
China as a whole has become second to none in terms of Asian economy (This is bubble, though, and definitely blasts in no distant future); however, Chinese children living in rural districts cannot so much as go to school because their parents are too poor. Who in China are devouring Chinese wealth? The answer is simple: a handful of Communist leaders and citiots.

Chinese leaders must pay attention to their own poor people, instead of having evil thoughts such as claiming sovereignty over the Senkaku islets, Japanese inherent territory, and the like. If Chinese government wants to get natural resources in the Senkaku islets, it must pay for that---That is one of ethics of human beings. Chinese proverb says that who is satisfied with clothing and food learns ethics and manners; however, Chinese never learned ethics and manners yet---Chinese have not yet cultivated in a sense.
Comments page of 2

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