france-china- (update 1)-0821-08
* Sarkozy makes evening stop-off to sit down with Hu
* Talks set to focus on market turbulence, G20 issues
(Adds detail, background)
PARIS, Aug 21 (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy
will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Thursday for
impromptu talks that will most probably centre on the recent
turbulence in global financial markets.
Sarkozy, whose country holds the Group of 20 presidency this
year, is adding a stop-off in China to a trip to the French
South Pacific territory of New Caledonia following his
discussions with several world leaders on sinking world markets.
His office said he would meet Hu at 5 p.m. local time (0900
GMT) on Thursday for talks followed by a dinner. He will fly on
to New Caledonia the same night, for his first visit to the
archipelago territory since taking power in 2007.
On what will be Sarkozy's sixth visit to China as French
president, the two leaders may discuss a Franco-German proposal
to tax financial transactions, a highly divisive idea that would
only be effective if supported widely around the world.
They will most probably also discuss France's G20 agenda
before a likely G20 ministerial meeting on the margins of the
annual IMF and World Bank gatherings in Washington in late
September and a summit of G7 finance ministers in Marseille,
France, earlier that month.
Sarkozy has been pressing to get Chinese backing for his G20
goals, which include seeking ways to lessen economic imbalances
and reduce market speculation and commodity price volatility.
Only a hard-fought compromise kept Beijing on board at G20
finance talks in February to agree on indicators to gauge global
The two leaders last met in March, also in Beijing, when
Sarkozy visited China to attend a seminar in the city of Nanjing
on ideas to reform the international monetary system.
They also met last November on a state visit by Hu to France
where Sarkozy received him with full military honours.
The NATO-led military intervention in Libya has put some
strain on relations after China abstained from the U.N. Security
Council vote authorising a no-fly zone over Libya and has been
critical of coalition air strikes.
(Reporting by Yann Le Guernigou; Writing by Catherine Bremer;
editing by Elizabeth Piper)
(Created by Sonya Hepinstall)