French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Thursday for impromptu talks that will most probably centre on the recent turbulence in global financial markets.
Sarkozy, whose country holds the Group of 20 presidency this year, is adding a stop-off in China to a trip to the French South Pacific territory of New Caledonia following his discussions with several world leaders on sinking world markets.
His office said he would meet Hu at 5pm local time (0900 GMT) on Thursday for talks followed by a dinner. He will fly on to New Caledonia the same night, for his first visit to the archipelago territory since taking power in 2007.
On what will be Sarkozy's sixth visit to China as French president, the two leaders may discuss a Franco-German proposal to tax financial transactions, a highly divisive idea that would only be effective if supported widely around the world.