IMF mulls HK meeting

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are discussing holding their 1997 annual meeting in Hong Kong after the territory is handed over to China, diplomats in Washington say.

Such a move could open the two international lending organisations to attacks from critics of China's human rights policies, who are already trying to block Beijing's bid to host the Olympic Games in 2000.

Diplomats said Hong Kong had not yet formally offered to host the 1997 meeting but was widely expected to do so soon.

The meeting would take place in September, three months after the July 1 handover of the territory to China.