The remarks by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei were an
indirect criticism of the United States, the biggest and most
powerful IMF member, where lawmakers failed on Monday to agree on
key funding measures, though Hong did not mention the United States
The proposed $1 trillion spending bill for the U.S. federal
government did not include funding for the International Monetary
Congress must sign off on the IMF funding to complete 2010 reforms
that would make China the IMF's third-largest member and revamp the
IMF board to reduce the dominance of Western Europe.
The changes would also give greater say to nations such as Brazil
and India to reflect their growing economic heft.
But the changes have been held up by the lack of approval from the
"The IMF quotas reform is an important decision made by the
organization," Hong said at a daily news briefing.
"The relevant organization's members should earnestly implement the
decision, and honor and enhance the voice and representation of
developing countries within the IMF."
The reform of the voting shares, known as quotas, cannot proceed
without the United States, which holds the only controlling share of
After putting off the request in 2012 because of the U.S.
presidential election, the U.S. Treasury has sought to tuck the
provision into several bills since March.
The administration's requests, however, have been met with
skepticism from some Republicans, who see them as tantamount to
approving fresh funding in a tight budget environment.
Some lawmakers have also raised concerns about how well the IMF is
helping struggling economies in Europe and the risks attached to IMF
loans, suggesting Congress is in no hurry to approve any changes
[to top of second column]
India's Finance Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for
comment. But an official at the ministry, who has been dealing with
multilateral institutions including the IMF, said India was
"disappointed" at the Congress lack of action.
The official declined to be identified because he was not authorized
to talk to the media.
A South Korean Finance Ministry official, who declined to be
identified, said: "While we appreciate the U.S. government's
efforts, we regret the fact that the proposed funding measure fell
through in Congress at the last minute.
"IMF quota reform is an important matter to address and we hope that
the matter will be discussed at the G-20 level with the end-January
Developing nations have longed viewed the IMF with suspicion for
promoting disastrous privatizations that complicated the transition
from communism for some emerging nations in the early 1990s, and for
pushing budget cuts that exacerbated debt crises in Asia and Latin
America a few years later.
That suspicion has been compounded by a power structure that dates
to IMF's founding in 1944. The structure was shaped by the victors
of World War Two — the United States and Europe.
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee in Beijing, Frank Jack Daniel in New Delhi
and Vincent Lee in Seoul; editing by Nick Macfie)
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