Washington: China is close to clinching a top-level post at the International Monetary Fund, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday after the IMF's new chief pledged to give more power to emerging economies.
IMF sources said Min Zhu, a Chinese national who was a special advisor to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was expected to fill a new deputy managing director post to be created by Lagarde.
"Min Zhu is expected to be named to deputy managing director," an IMF board member told Reuters. The appointment would first need the approval of the IMF board.
Christine Lagarde on Wednesday vowed during her first news conference as IMF managing director to give developing nations a greater role in the fund and said she was considering creating a new high-level job that would be filled by a candidate from an emerging market country.
The move should appeal to emerging and developing markets, which have demanded a greater say in the international financial institution to reflect their growing economic clout.
China has pressed for a senior-level position but has been blocked by Japan's long-held lock on the top job for an Asian as deputy managing director. Zhu was a deputy governor of the People's Bank of China.
His appointment would give Asia two senior management posts in the IMF plus the chair of the IMF's top advisory committee which was recently filled by Singapore's Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
Another top job at the IMF will soon open with the departure at the end of August of John Lipsky, the Fund's No 2 official. IMF sources have said that the United States is considering naming White House adviser David Lipton for the job, keeping the post in American hands.
During her candidacy, Lagarde traveled to Beijing to lobby for support and was selected with the backing of China and other large emerging market countries.
"The world is going to continue to change," she told reporters on Wednesday. "We have these tectonic plates that are moving at the moment, and that needs to be reflected in the composition of governance and employment at the fund."