The firebrand leftist who has shaken up France's presidential campaign says his country should reach out to China and resist U.S. hegemony.

Jean-Luc Melenchon of the Left Front party is tapping an anti-capitalist mood in France and is expected to make a relatively strong showing in Sunday's first round elections. Socialist Francois Hollande and Conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy are expected to advance to the final runoff.

Speaking to international reporters Friday, Melenchon called international finance "parasitic."

A former senator who is supported by France's Communist Party, Melenchon criticized U.S. hegemony and military might, looking instead to China for partnership.

He said there is "a common interest between China and France" especially in development and international relations.