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Mexico bank chief in bid to charm China ahead of IMF challenge

Mexico's central bank governor has travelled to China to seek support for his bid to become the first representative from an emerging market to lead the International Monetary Fund.

Agustin Carstens will meet his Chinese counterpart Zhou Xiaochuan and finance minister Xie Xuren, the Mexican Embassy in Beijing said. The only other candidate for the IMF's top job is French finance minister Christine Lagarde, who visited China last week.

Both candidates have been courting emerging markets that have been pushing for a bigger say in the running of the IMF to reflect their growing economic clout.

Countries, including China, India and Brazil, have also called for scrapping a tradition under which the IMF's top post has been filled by a European since it was founded.

Still, none of those countries have so far come out in support of Mr Carstens. Meanwhile, Ms Lagarde said in Beijing last week that she was "very positive" about her trip to China.

Ms Lagarde has emerged as the front-runner as European officials have closed ranks behind her.

Her support extends beyond Europe as she has also received endorsements from Indonesia and Egypt. The United States has so far been neutral in the race, but it has never broken from Europe in who should lead the IMF.

In return, Europe has always supported a US candidate to head the IMF's sister organisation, the World Bank.