After holding talks with European Union leaders in Beijing, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has announced that China is ready to increase its involvement with resolving the European debt crisis. EU leaders had originally approached China last year about a bail-out fund. The Times of India reports:
Wen said China wanted to see Europe — its biggest trading partner — “maintain stability and prosperity”, a day after ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Italy, Spain and Portugal.
The two sides also agreed during the talks to give fresh impetus to Beijing’s efforts to attain full market economy status (MES) for China in the European Union, according to a joint communique issued after the summit.
“China is ready to increase its participation in resolving the EU debt problems,” the Chinese premier told journalists after meeting EU president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
China was considering using Europe’s bail-out funds to help address the continent’s fiscal woes, Wen added, without elaborating further on how the Asian power might be prepared to contribute.
China’s involvement with the EU has been welcomed in the past, and EU leaders continue to welcome China’s investment. Business Week adds:
Van Rompuy said he welcomed the interest China has shown in investing in European sovereign bonds and the European Financial Stability Facility. Wen reiterated remarks he made Feb. 2 that China was considering measures to help stabilize the European monetary union through the EFSF and European Stability Mechanism.
Wen’s comments come after Greece’s parliament passed austerity measures needed to receive a second aid package. China, which has been wooed by European leaders to help fund the temporary EFSF and its permanent successor, the ESM, is pushing for Europe to undertake further structural reforms.