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China To Be Absent From G7 Meeting

China will not attend the G7 meeting to be held in Washington this week.
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Apr 10, 2007
China will not take part in a meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers in Washington this week organised by G7 president Germany, a spokesman for the finance ministry said here Tuesday. "According to the information we have the Chinese delegation will not be participating in the meeting," the spokesman told AFP. He did not cite a reason.

China is not a member of the G7 but has frequently taken part in some of the discussions during the G7 sessions.

The G7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States while Russia rounds out the Group of Eight (G8).

The gathering of the finance ministers of the world's seven richest nations is to be held Friday, ahead of the annual IMF/World Bank meeting in the US capital, is expected to focus on hedge funds.

According to press reports, the largest of the highly speculative investment funds, Blackstone, Cerberus and Fortress are likely to take part.

Calls for tougher regulation of hedge funds, a trillion-dollar industry that has grown rapidly in recent years, have mounted in recent months.

Concern has grown because ostensibly conservative pension funds have joined the rush to invest in hedge funds despite their secretive trading practices.

G7 finance ministers in February debated the risks to the global financial system posed by hedge funds and urged greater vigilance of the industry.

Germany has put increased transparency and even regulation of the largely uncontrolled hedge fund sector at the top of its agenda for its year-long G8 presidency but has run into resistance from the United States in particular.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck meanwhile came under fire Tuesday for preferring to go on holiday with his family rather than attend the G7 meeting.

He will be represented in Washington by his number two in the finance ministry, Thomas Mirow, the ministry said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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