China has said that the next World Bank president should be chosen on merit, seeking to challenge a tradition that the bank’s chief be a US citizen, though it did not suggest a candidate.
Robert Zoellick said on Wednesday that he would step down in June at the end of a five-year term as bank president. Speculation has focused on Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, and Larry Summers, former White House chief economic adviser, as potential successors.
Emerging markets have said before that there is no justification for the custom of reserving the bank’s top position for an American. Some wonder whether China, the world’s second-largest economy, might put forward a candidate.
“China hopes that the next president of the World Bank will be selected based on the principle of merit in an open and fair competition,” Liu Weimin, foreign ministry spokesman, said in a news briefing.