Thursday

6th Aug 2020

Chinese official: Eurozone collapse would be a 'disaster'

  • Time is running out for euro-leaders, Beijing warns (Photo: Jorge Rodriguez)

A collapse of the eurozone would be a "disaster for everyone" and EU leaders have not "fully realised" the urgency of the situation, a Chinese official said Tuesday (29 November), adding that Europe's problem is not so much money-related as a matter of lack of confidence.

"We don't want to see the collapse of the eurozone, it would be a disaster for everyone. We want to see a very quick recovery of the eurozone. China is a very firm believer in the euro, in European integration," Hua Chunying, a foreign ministry counsellor dealing with EU affairs told this website on the margins of the Understanding China policy summit.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

China has invested in bonds of the troubled southern euro-countries already. "But the major problem with the EU is not the money, it's the confidence," she explained.

This lack of confidence is "natural" given the diversity between north and south, poor and rich countries, Hua said, adding: "But I do believe once everybody realises it's a problem of life and death of the euro, then they may take very rapid measures."

A 'core' or northern eurozone splintering off with a stronger currency is not viable, in the Chinese official's view. "They can only go as one area. It's not a matter of choice, it's a strategical asset. Europe for a long period in history used to be the pillar and source of stability and we hope it will continue to be so," she stressed.

Asked if the Chinese government is preparing any contingency plans for a eurozone break-up, Hua said: "No, we don't want to see that. Everybody will suffer if that happens."

Meanwhile, Wang Yiming, a Chinese official from the National Development and Reform Commission, spelled out that instead of asking for money, Europe should provide market access to Chinese companies.

"The European economy needs blood, but the way forward is not by asking China for blood. We need to create new blood together rather than to transfer some," he said at the conference.

Eurozone leaders had been hoping that China and others would help boost the single currency's bailout fund. But a meeting of G20 leaders earlier this month saw no offers forthcoming.

Lord Leon Brittan, a former EU commissioner and currently vice chair of UBS Investment Bank, also warned against the EU asking for Chinese financial assistance, but for different reasons.

"It would be a great mistake to ask for Chinese assistance in this crisis, because if you ask for money, there are always political conditions attached," he said.

Beijing in recent days has signalled that it would be willing to invest in infrastructure and state assets in Europe, but is still waiting for the prices to go down.

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

Stakeholder

Renew Europe has a plan to combat gender-violence

This is not about supposedly traditional values – when was violence against women ever a value? – it is about living up to the European values we all signed up to. We have to put pressure on Poland.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Rainbow flag protesters charged by Polish police
  2. An open letter to the EPP on end of Hungary's press freedom
  3. Renew Europe has a plan to combat gender-violence
  4. Why EU beats US on green pandemic recovery
  5. Azerbaijan ambassador to EU shared anti-George Floyd post
  6. Polish party roars back at EU on LGBTI fines
  7. EU: Hong Kong election delay undermines democracy
  8. Why hydrogen is no magic solution for EU Green Deal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us