Arab Today, arab today china not savior but partner to debtstricken eurozone
Last Updated : GMT 04:28:55
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

China not savior, but partner to debt-stricken eurozone

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today China not savior, but partner to debt-stricken eurozone

Beijing - Xinhua

German Chancellor Angela Merkel concluded on Saturday her three-day visit to China with no concrete promise from Chinese government, while Premier Wen Jiaobao said China will make more efforts to help in Europe\'s debt issues. China may offer rescue funds to Europe, but has neither the intention nor the ability to buy up Europe, Premier Wen stressed on Friday, in response to concerns over the country\'s increasing investment in bogged eurozone economies. It was \"urgent\" to solve the European debt crisis, Wen noted, adding that China will help in resolve Europe\'s debt issues through the International Monetary Fund, the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism. The mechanism is a 650 billion U.S. dollar permanent bailout fund signed by 25 out of 27 European Union members on Jan. 30. Wen said that European countries should play key role in getting rid of the sovereign debt crisis, which also calls for efforts by other parties of the international community. \"The EU, as a whole, in addition to bailouts, should continuously promote structural and systematic reforms in their financial and other areas, and give the international community a unified and clearer indication on how they will resolve the issue,\" Wen emphasized. \"China is willing to enhance its communication with Germany via the existing bilateral mechanism of financial cooperation, and is also ready to keep in close touch with all the other parties concerned to address the issue,\" he said. Since the European Union is the world\'s largest economy and China\'s largest trading partner, the bloc\'s financial stability, economic growth and integration not only affect Europe\'s fate and future, but also that of China and the world, Premier Wen added. According to China Daily, Merkel said that she and Wen had reached an agreement that European countries need to further improve financial regulations. She thought that the stabilization of the euro was primarily a matter for Europeans. \"We must do our homework,\" Merkel said, adding the world expected Europe to present a united front. AIM OF MERKEL\'S VISIT China is the first country Angela Merkel visited this year outside Europe. During her trip in China, Merkel met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo, then she and Premier Wen Jiabao visited Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong, home to more than 400 German companies. Zhao Junjie, an expert of European studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Merkel came to China to seek Beijing\'s support. Merkel will not simply ask China for more money, Zhao said. \"She is trying to establish a comprehensive cooperation mechanism with China so that the European debt problem can be solved in a more efficient way.\" The European Stability Mechanism, a German-inspired pact for stricter budget discipline, has been criticized as concentrating solely on deficit-busting tactics rather than on restarting the stagnant eurozone economy. German policy has been criticized for focusing on austerity when many EU members are struggling to reduce unemployment. With the world\'s largest foreign exchange reserves, China is seen by European leaders as the hope which may invest in a bailout fund to rescue debt-stricken countries. \"The Chinese side supports efforts to maintain the stability of the euro and the euro zone,\" Wen said, noting China is firmly confident in the European economy and will not change its view that Europe is a major pillar of the world economy. Wen\'s remarks suggested that China is thinking of practical and specific ways to help the EU tackle its debt problem, in addition to political support, Zhao said. His choice of words indicated a slight change in China\'s attitude toward the debt crisis in Europe, Zhao said. STEPPING UP OVERSEAS INVESTMENT OF CHINESE FIRMS Worsening European debt crisis has resulted in a shrinking value of Western enterprises and it could provide a good chance for Chinese firms to expand their international presence. Chinese leaders have repeatedly expressed support for Europe and showed confidence in both the European economy and the euro and China will continue to make Europe one of its main investment markets. China will continue its policy of opening-up to the outside world and encourage its enterprises to participate in equal competition in that process, Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday. To deepening economic cooperation between EU and China, Premier Wen called on the Europeans to create an \"objective and positive environment\" and provide China with \"proper investment products\". Wen stressed that China\'s investments in European nations are only at the fledgling stage, and China\'s investment creates benefits for both sides. \"If we join hands to combat the financial crisis and the debt woes, all the problems will be addressed,\" he said. In 2011, China\'s outbound direct investment gained a slight 1.8 percent to 60 billion U.S. dollars, while China\'s investment in Europe gained by 94.1 percent to 4.28 billion U.S. dollars, according to figures published by the Ministry of Commerce. Meanwhile, more and more Chinese enterprises quickened their pace on overseas investment under encouragement of Chinese government Chinese construction equipment maker Sany Heavy Industry announced it would pay 324 million euros (426 million U.S. dollars) to buy 90 percent of Putzmeister, Germany\'s largest concrete pump maker. In another recent deal, China State Grid has agreed to pay 387 million euros for a 25 percent stake in the national electricity grid of debt-stricken Portugal, Treasury Secretary Maria Albuquerque said on Thursday. MORE MUTUAL ECONOMIC AND TRADE CO-OP As China\'s biggest trade partner in the European Union, Germany hopes that the two countries\' economic cooperation should be based on equal market access for two-way investment. \"We expect China to provide the same treatment to German companies as their domestic counterparts,\" said Merkel. \"Germany is a country that is open to all. We warmly welcome the investment from China,\" said Merkel. \"There are already many good examples.\" Echoing Merkel\'s suggestions, Premier Wen noted that it is important for economic and trade relations between the two sides to be totally equal and mutually beneficial in light of the gloomy global economy, adding that the trade volume between China and Germany will hopefully exceed 200 billion U.S. dollars this year. He called on both sides to further expand two-way investment and boost cooperation in the areas of technology, energy conservation and environmental protection by holding a more open attitude and combining respective advantages. Wen said China will strive to create an open, transparent, efficient and equal marketing environment and welcome German enterprises to expand investment in China. Businessmen from the two countries said China and Germany have maintained a broad cooperative perspective in economics and trade by holding common interests. The two countries can not only explore mutual markets, but also work together to explore global markets. Great potential exists in the two sides expanding their cooperation in such fields as environment protection, agriculture, new energy and culture. \"It\'s (investment in China) a win-win situation. We have absolutely no complaints here,\" said Martin Herrenknecht, chairman and managing director of tunnelling systems of Germany-based Herrenknecht AG, the world\'s largest tunnel boring machine provider. \"Without China, the financial situation could be worse.\"  

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