British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that China will provide $40 billion extra to the IMF. That's a big chunk of change. Especially for China. In total the IMF is raising $750 billion.
As Caijing magazine (China's best business publication) noted the new money is well above China's voting share in the IMF and "another sign of the mainland's desire to take a larger role in the global economy." China's contribution represents 5.3 percent of the new funds, as against its voting rights of 3.8 percent within the organization.
For years China has boxed below its weight internationally. Deng Xiaoping, the man who brought economic reforms to China, urged the Communist Party to keep a low profile in international affairs. But now, slowly, spasmodically, that seems to be changing.
I can't imagine a high-profile leadership role anytime soon. But I believe China is (as they say in this country on the eve of the beginning of baseball season) stepping up to the plate.