Saturday

10th Dec 2016

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."

EU asylum return focus expands police scrutiny

EU interior ministers agreed to start legislative talks with the EU parliament to expand the scope of an asylum database, Eurodac, to include migrants and stateless people.

Column / Brexit Briefing

The Brexit picture starts to emerge

The week in Westminster and Brussels highlight the difficulty Theresa May faces in trying to keep control of the Brexit timetable.

News in Brief

  1. Council of Europe critical of Turkey emergency laws
  2. Italian opposition presses for anti-euro referendum
  3. Danish MP wants warning shots fired to deter migrants
  4. Defected Turkish officers to remain in Greece
  5. Most child asylum seekers are adults, says Denmark
  6. No school for children of 'illegal' migrants, says Le Pen
  7. Ombudsman slams EU Commission on tobacco lobbying
  8. McDonald's moves fiscal HQ to UK following tax probe

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Use Bioenergy Coming From Forests in a Sustainable Way?
  2. Counter BalanceReport Reveals Corrupt but Legal Practices in Development Finance
  3. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  4. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  5. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  6. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  7. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  9. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  10. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  11. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  12. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First