The US choice for the World Bank's next president, Jim Yong Kim, on Saturday met Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan as he drums up international support for his candidacy, state media said.
The Korean-American physician, the favourite to lead the Bank as the US pick traditionally gets the post, met Wang in Shaoxing, a city close to Shanghai, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The two other candidates to replace outgoing Robert Zoellick are non-Americans, in what is the first challenge to the US monopoly on the top job.
Beijing has not officially backed any of the candidates, but has insisted that the nomination process must be based on "fairness, openness and transparency."
Kim, best known for his AIDS treatment programme at the World Health Organization, will head next to Tokyo, followed by his birthplace Seoul, New Delhi, Brussels, Brasilia and Mexico.
Kim's challengers are respected economists Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Jose Antonio Ocampo of Colombia.
The Bank's executive directors plan to interview the three candidates over April 9-11, according to Ocampo, with an eye toward a decision about 10 days later.