In a rare public dispute, Treasury Secretary-designate Lawrence Summers yesterday said the U.S. would vote against a controversial World Bank loan to China that environmentalists have criticized. The $40 million loan would pay for the resettlement of 58,000 poor Chinese farmers from an overcrowded, badly eroded area to traditionally Tibetan land, also considered environmentally sensitive. Summers cited environmental issues and concerns about the resettlement area in voicing U.S. opposition to the loan. A New York Times editorial also opposes the loan, noting that it didn’t receive a full environmental assessment and that it doesn’t appear to comply with World Bank policies designed to protect ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples. The World Bank board will vote on the loan on Thursday.

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