China says IMF leadership selection should be based on merit

China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the selection for leadership of the International Monetary Fund should be based on "fairness, transparency and merit," but declined comment on the charges against its chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

"We've taken note of this situation, and it would not be appropriate to further comment," ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing when asked about the arrest of Strauss on sexual assault charges.

"You also raised the issue of the selection of the Fund's senior leadership. We believe that this should be based on the principles of fairness, transparency and merit."

Strauss-Kahn remains the head of the International Monetary Fund, but was denied bail and sent to a New York jail on Monday, a blow as he fights charges that he assaulted and tried to rape a hotel maid.

The IMF board met informally on Monday for an update on Strauss-Kahn, a French economist and politician, but it did not make a decision on whether to remove him from his job steering the organization's response to global economic challenges.

China is the biggest of the fast-growing emerging economies that will gain more say at the IMF under an agreement reached last year that reflects their growing economic power.

[Source: Reuters, Beijing, 17May11]

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