NICE (France) - CHINA and France joined forces on Friday to push for reform of the global monetary system when France takes the helm of the G-20 economic grouping next week.

They reached a 'true convergence of views' on France's reform plans in talks between President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in the Mediterranean city of Nice, a senior French presidential adviser said.

Mr Sarkozy later said he also broached the sensitive topic of human rights, following complaints by activists that he was avoiding the subject so as not to offend Mr Hu given the high economic and diplomatic stakes of the visit.

Speaking to reporters as he arrived at a chic restaurant near the Nice seafront for a dinner with Mr Hu, Mr Sarkozy said the two discussed 'all subjects... without taboos.' Activists and political opponents had criticised Mr Sarkozy for not speaking up in favour of the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month in a move that enraged Beijing.

Having overseen billions worth of Franco-Chinese trade deals, Mr Sarkozy was seeking China's backing for his plans for financial reform when he takes over the G-20 presidency at a summit in South Korea next week.

'There is a true convergence of views between China and France on the aims to be achieved and the route and means necessary to achieve this reform,' the presidential adviser told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official added the two leaders also agreed to hold a gathering of monetary experts in China at an unspecified date, 'probably in the spring' in early 2011.

China, France join forces