China extends helping hand to Europe once again

BEIJING, June 29 (Xinhua) — China has again shown itself to be a rainy day friend to the European Union (EU) in the face of the sovereign debt crisis besetting some EU members.

During his ongoing visit to Europe, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on June 25 that China would buy some of Hungary’s sovereign debt and provide a special loan of one billion euros (about 1.44 billion U.S. dollars) to support joint ventures between enterprises from the two countries.

The move has renewed China’s promise to support the debt-ridden EU members, though uncertainties are still haunting the European economy.

“Since the European debt crisis broke out in Greece in 2009, China’s government has adopted a series of positive measures, such as increasing its holdings of euro bonds and promoting its economic cooperation and investment in Europe, to help European countries tide over the current crisis,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on June 21.

China’s decision indicates that the country has been acting as a responsible member of the international community and is always ready to fulfil its international responsibility to the best of its ability. And maintaining a stable eurozone and a dynamic euro is not only in the interest of the EU, but also of China and the rest of the world.

At the same time, China and EU complement each other economically, and their interests are closely interwoven. As European Council President Herman Van Rompuy put it, “China has been supportive to eurozone countries facing difficulties, just as the EU supports China’s stable development with investment and technology.”

Hence, the Chinese government has dispatched a number of procurement delegations to Europe with contracts worth billions of dollars, and steadfastly backed the stabilizing measures taken by the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

However, it seems difficult for some European countries to achieve immediate economic recovery from the crisis. Some analysts have predicted that the deficit-to-GDP ratio in eurozone economies would keep growing in the coming years, and the crisis was unlikely to ease off until 2014. Moreover, some analysts have also warned that several European countries may restructure their sovereign debt and undermine the investors’ interests.

Faced with this complex situation, European countries seriously need firm confidence from inside and without. China’s new buying plan announced by Premier Wen demonstrates confidence in the revitalization of the European economy.

China is Hungary’s reliable partner, Hungarian President Pal Schmitt said while meeting with Wen. Indeed, China is a reliable partner to Hungary, as well as to other European nations and the rest of the world. China is always ready to work with other countries to address global challenges.

By Zhang Xiaojun

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