China has 'essential role' in G20 talks: Sarkozy
China has an "essential role" to play in efforts to boost the global economy at the next G20 meeting in November, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told his Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Thursday.
Sarkozy made the comments to President Hu Jintao during a brief stopover in China, the world's second largest economy, on his way to the French territory of New Caledonia.
"As president of the G20, I never imagined not coming to China to talk to my Chinese friends about the major economic issues that are preoccupying the world," the French president told Hu in the Great Hall of the People.
"The G20 summit must... take decisions and participate in the revival of global growth. This is a major issue and China has an essential role to play."
As current president, France will host the next G20 meeting in the coastal resort of Cannes.
The French president is spending just five hours in Beijing, where he will have a working dinner with Hu before delivering a statement to the media.
The Chinese president said the pair would discuss "matters of global importance, including matters of the economy".
"These matters hold great stakes for France and China. This (visit) also reveals the importance that the president (Sarkozy) attaches to Sino-French ties," Hu added.
Journalists were ushered out of the room after the opening comments, but Sarkozy's office said earlier the talks would cover the debt crisis in the Euro zone.
The conflict in Libya, where France has played a major role in support of the rebel opposition, was also expected to be on the agenda.
© 2011 AFP