French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has proposed visiting China in early June and will meet leading officials from the People's Bank of China, China's foreign ministry said on Thursday, a visit during which she would discuss her candidacy to head the International Monetary Fund.

Madame Lagarde has in recent days proposed that she will visit China in early June. Relevant responsible officials from the People's Bank of China will meet with her, the ministry's spokesman Hong Lei said.

The selection of the deputy executive general and others is crucial to the vigorous reform of international financial institutions. The selection of management should respect the principles of being merit-based and transparent, he said.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard)

(This story was corrected in the headline, first paragraph and first quote)