As the global economy slumps further, many are waiting to see if Beijing will use some of its nearly US$2 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves to give the world an economic shot in the arm as it did domestically with its 4 trillion yuan (HK$4.5 trillion) stimulus plan. Premier Wen Jiabao was tight-lipped at yesterday's annual National People's Congress press conference when asked whether China would inject fresh capital into the International Monetary Fund, the world's main financial salvation vehicle. Instead, he used the press conference to lay out four principles behind China's position on the issue. He urged the IMF to reform its structure, expand capital through proper quotas, expand financial tools beyond the IMF framework, and respect the extent of each member nation's willingness to contribute. Mr Wen's comments came just three weeks before a scheduled Group of 20 summit meeting in London to discuss options to help the ailing global economy. Restructuring the IMF will be high on the agenda. Analysts said Mr Wen's remarks reflected China's pragmatic wait-and-see approach. 'He effectively told the world that China was sure to be involved in the IMF restructuring. But at the same time he kept his cards close to his chest so he wouldn't show his hand too early to other players at the table,' Fudan University economics professor Zhou Dunren said. Mr Wen's remarks appear to be a response to US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's call on Wednesday for the IMF's supplementary borrowing programme to be expanded by about US$500 billion. Under the IMF's existing arrangements, the US contributes 20 per cent of the fund's capital, while China chips in 4 per cent. If the quota stays the same, the US would have to come up with about US$100 billion to support additional loans while China would be responsible for contributing US$20 billion. But many developed nations had hoped China could lend a larger part of its forex reserves - the world's biggest - to bail out crisis-stricken economies and inject liquidity into the markets. Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences professor Xu Mingqi said that because of the dramatic expansion of China's economy in the past decade, Beijing was clearly in the hot seat to raise its IMF contributions. 'But the Chinese administration, given its track record in dealing with external pressure, will not become pliant easily,' Professor Xu said. If China did agree to carry more of the IMF funding load, it could contribute an amount corresponding to its share of global gross domestic product, said Tang Min, deputy secretary general of the China Development Research Foundation. China's GDP accounts for about 6.8 per cent of the global total, so there should be about 3 percentage points of room to move over its existing 4 per cent IMF contribution. But, Dr Tang said, any capital increase would have to come after a shake-up within the IMF. 'The IMF itself is a defective system because it has traditionally been tough on supervision of developing countries. This time, China is likely to ask first that better market monitoring for developed countries be introduced before any refinancing plans can go ahead,' he said. The IMF usually matches its 185 members' rights with the money they put in. Only the US, with 16.77 per cent of the voting rights, has veto power. Germany has 5.88 per cent of the voting rights, while Britain and France each have 4.86 per cent. China has 3.66 per cent. Yinhe Securities chief economist Zuo Xiaolei said that even if China could increase its voting rights by making a bigger contribution, there was no way the rights would match the collective clout of developed countries. 'More important, the voting rights will mean almost nothing if the IMF still functions as an emergency fund and has no enlarged power to supervise the world economy,' Dr Zuo said.