China is going ahead with a G20 seminar on March 31 to develop ideas on reshaping the global monetary system, but has moved it to the city of Nanjing, near Shanghai, a French government source said on Friday.
The Chinese-hosted gathering of academics, economists, central bankers and finance ministers, previously planned for the city of Shenzhen, will give a symbolic push to one of the key planks of France's Group of 20 presidency.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who wants a fully fledged debate under his G20 stewardship on how to improve on an outdated Bretton Woods system, is expected to open the seminar.
It is unclear how many finance ministers will attend, but representatives of non-G20 countries with key roles in currency markets, like Switzerland, are likely to be present.
China has invited all the ministers and central bankers, the source said. It's not a G20 meeting so they won't all go, but those that can will go.
The position of the world's No. 2 economy will be crucial for how much progress France makes on its G20 goals of setting out ways to measure economic imbalances, improving transparency in commodity markets as a step towards curbing price volatility and pushing ideas on monetary reform.
China's reluctance to include exchange rates and currency reserves on a list of indicators to gauge imbalances meant only a hard-fought compromise enabled finance ministers to reach a deal at France's first G20 meeting last weekend.
Nanjing is one of China's biggest business cities and will also host the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.