Friday

18th Jan 2019

Focus

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

  • Wen Jiabao is seeing Angela Merkel for the second time this year (Photo: picture-alliance/Frank May)

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday (30 August) 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.

"The European debt crisis recently has continued to deteriorate, giving rise to serious concerns in the international community. Frankly, I am also worried," Wen said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

She had travelled to Beijing with half of her government for a joint session with the Chinese government, Germany being the only country with which China holds such meetings.

Despite her reassurances about "absolute political will" to save the euro, Wen expressed concern about the speed of the response.

He pointed to the possibility of Spain and Italy also asking for bailouts as well as uncertainty regarding Greece's future in the eurozone. "The solution depends on the will and decisiveness of the big euro-countries, Germany and France, to help them out."

China will continue to buy European bonds, Wen said, but he did not make any concrete pledges regarding Italy or Spain and noted that any purchases would require a full risk evaluation.

Merkel said she wants Greece to remain in the eurozone and praised Italy and Spain for their reforms. "Both countries are on a very intensive reform path, which I am strongly convinced will bear fruits."

The chancellor's display of power - it is the second time this year she meets with top Chinese officials and signs lucrative deals - such as an order for 50 Airbus planes worth €2.8 billion - is in stark contrast with the yearly EU-China summits which produce statements and pledges for cooperation.

A question about freedom of the press, with increasing restrictions by the Communist Party imposed on foreign correspondents, went unanswered by Wen. As for Merkel, she said: "We have a joint conviction that allowing for fair reporting is a basis for our nations to get to know each other better and to cooperate better."

She also played down a dispute over solar panels, with European producers calling on the EU commission to impose tariffs to punish the Chinese competitors for unfair subsidies received from Beijing.

"Protectionism cannot be the answer for certain difficulties, we have to try to solve existing problems by the way of talks, problems we have in the field of solar energy, for instance," Merkel said.

"We should endeavour to do so because there is still time and we will discuss with our colleagues in the European Union that we should give it a try."

News in Brief

  1. Another referendum 'would take a year', Downing St says
  2. 82-year old Berlusconi to run in EU elections
  3. EU parliament votes to triple funds for democracy promotion
  4. EU parliament backs linking budget payments to rule of law
  5. Verhofstadt voted for Draghi amendment 'by mistake'
  6. 'Plan B' Brexit vote in UK parliament set for 29 January
  7. Verhofstadt wanted Draghi out of G30 group
  8. Putin heads to Serbia amid warnings against West

Centre-right MEPs want transparency vote to be secret

A number of centre-right MEPs are pushing for a secret ballot on a plenary vote that would make EU lawmakers more transparent and accountable to the public - in a move described as "absurd" by Transparency International.

Opinion

On Morocco, will the EU ignore its own court?

If the European parliament votes in favour of the new Morocco agreement without knowing that it complies with the European Court of Justice judgement, how can it demand that other countries respect international law and their own courts?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Brexit delay 'reasonable', as May tries cross-party talks
  2. MEPs allow Draghi's membership of secretive bank group
  3. EU parliament backs Morocco deal despite row
  4. Barnier open to 'future relations' talks if UK red lines shift
  5. German spies to monitor far-right AfD party
  6. On Morocco, will the EU ignore its own court?
  7. UK parliament rejects May's Brexit deal in historic defeat
  8. EU suggests majority vote on digital tax by 2025

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us