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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, China
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China's banks snubbing IMF, World Bank events in Japan

China did not hesitate to use its clout in the financial sector to voice out protests over the diplomatic row with Japan concerning the Senkaku Islands.

The country has prompted its banks to pull out of events linked to annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Japan next week, as Tokyo and Beijing remain locked in the vicious diplomatic clash over the Senkaku Islands.

China is seeking a say in world affairs commensurate with its growing financial clout, although commentators

have pointed out that this kind of action only serves to undermine Beijing's ambitions.

At least one scholar is saying that the move may paint China as an unreliable trade partner.

"Such boycotts are pointless. They only harm China and make it out to be a unstable and unreliable partner," said Fraser Howie, who has studied and written about China's financial system.

Dow Jones Newswires called the move "the latest sign that the festering territorial dispute is having a wider impact on bilateral, and now multilateral, ties."

"Quite frankly, it's Japan-China relations," Dow Jones quoted an official at the Tokyo branch of the

Agricultural Bank of China as saying about the bank's withdrawal from IMF-related events in Tokyo.

Agricultural Bank of China is still sponsoring and participating in a meeting of the Institute of International Finance, a global association of financial institutions, that will take place on the sidelines of the main IMF meeting.

The Bank of Communications also has pulled out from IMF-related events, while China Construction Bank is claiming its officials have scheduling problems that will prevent them from taking part. The Bank of China has not decided whether its representatives will attend the IMF meetings, according to the Dow Jones report.

Tensions between Beijing and Tokyo remain high, with Chinese government ships on Tuesday and Wednesday
returning to waters off the Japan-controlled Senkaku islets. 

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