China pledges support for crisis-hit Europe

7th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

China will support Europe in its efforts to overcome its debt crisis which Beijing sees as only temporary, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said after talks here Wednesday.

"I would like to emphasise that China, together with the international community, supports the efforts of the EU... to fight the crisis," Yang told reporters through an interpreter.

EU leaders gather in Brussels from late Thursday for a decisive summit continuing Friday that has been dubbed the last chance to save the beleaguered euro.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, China has cooperated effectively with the European Union and 17-member eurozone, the Chinese foreign minister said, adding that bilateral cooperation was now more extensive.

Speaking after talks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Yang said he believed the difficulties of the EU and eurozone were "only of a temporary character".

He said it was to China's advantage and other countries in the world that the European economy was stable and that it continued to grow.

Bilateral trade between China and Germany is expected this year to $160 billion dollars compared to $142 billion last year, he said. Trade with the EU was expected to exceed $500 billion this year.

European leaders have lobbied China, the world's second largest economy, to help struggling eurozone countries by contributing to a bailout fund, but so far Beijing has not made a firm commitment.

The Asian powerhouse, which has the world's largest foreign exchange reserves at $3.2017 trillion, has said it is keen to seek more investment opportunities in Europe, but has held back from agreeing to contribute to the fund.

© 2011 AFP

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