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China's President Xi Jinping told a special envoy from Vietnam on Wednesday that both countries should be "friendly to each other" to help mend ties after a flare-up over sovereignty in the South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency said. The visit to Beijing by Le Hongh Anh, a member of the Vietnamese Communist Party's powerful politburo, is the first sign of a concerted effort to heal the rift between the two countries, which share annual trade worth $50 billion. "(I) hope the Vietnamese will make joint efforts with the Chinese to put the bilateral relationship back on the right track of development," Xinhua quoted Xi as telling Le Hong Anh. "A neighbor cannot be moved away and it is in the common interests of both sides to be friendly to each other." Earlier, Liu Yunshan, a member of China's elite Politburo Standing Committee, was quoted by Xinhua as telling the visitor that both sides should bring bilateral relations back on track.
By Chine Labbé PARIS (Reuters) - IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been put under formal investigation by French magistrates for alleged negligence in a political fraud affair dating from 2008 when she was finance minister. Lagarde was questioned by magistrates in Paris this week for a fourth time under her existing status as a witness in the long-running saga over allegations that tycoon Bernard Tapie won a large arbitration payout due to his political connections. "I have instructed my lawyer to appeal this decision, which is without merit." Under French law, magistrates place a person under formal investigation when they believe there are indications of wrongdoing, but that does not always lead to a trial. Lagarde's lawyer, Yves Repiquet, told Reuters he would personally appeal the magistrates' decision.