Nicolas Sarkozy: Short Visit to China on Thursday

According to a statement from the Elysee Palace, this Thursday Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Beijing, where he will make a stopover before heading for Noumea Pacific Games. He will meet and dine with Chinese President Hu Jintao. The Presidency of the French Republic did not specify the subject of discussion between Nicolas Sarkozy and his Chinese counterpart, but it is conceivable that the financial crisis in the West will be discussed.

French President could talk about the undervaluation of the yuan, a crucial issue at present. This can boost China’s exports, trade balances at the expense of its competitors. Hu Jintao may express his concern at the deterioration of the U.S. debts. China has 1,700 billion (1,190 billion) of U.S. Treasury bonds in its coffers.

Another issue that might be at the heart of the debate between Nicolas Sarkozy and Hu Jintao: the taxation of financial transactions. This measure was proposed by Angela Merkel during their meeting in Paris on August 16. It would only be effective if applied on a global scale.

The situation in Libya is likely to be addressed. Beijing has issued scathing criticism of the NATO air strikes, saying the strikes went beyond the mandate of UN resolutions on Libya. Initially, the head of the French state was able to convince China not to oppose its veto at the NATO action in Libya.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who chaired the G8 and G20 this year, had already come to Beijing as part of his Asian tour. This will be his sixth visit to China as the President of France.