Sunday

30th Apr 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process