China's message to EU

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-27 07:56
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Having completed more than half of his intensive five-day itinerary in Europe, Premier Wen Jiabao has been delivering China's decisive message that it will continue to bolster its partnership with European countries struggling with debt crises and economic recession.

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Wen will give his vote of confidence to the United Kingdom and Germany on Monday and Tuesday by signing multi-billion-dollar business contracts and holding high-level exchanges and consultations with his respective counterparts.

In Hungary, this message was embodied in his Saturday announcement that China would buy a "certain amount" of treasury bonds. The Hungarian government described it as "a decision of historic significance", one that can help the country gain enough confidence to press ahead with economic reforms.

After previous announcements of bond purchases from Greece, Spain and Portugal, China's latest support commitments came in tandem with the EU leaders' difficult approval of a second bailout for Greece aimed at rescuing the country from the clutches of the financial markets.

In fact, China is continuing its commitment to developing all round relations both at Sino-EU and China-EU member country levels. Especially since 2008 after the financial crisis began, China's State leaders have frequently visited Europe with trade and investment delegations.

This trade and investment has saved many factories in Europe from going bankrupt and has made it possible for many European workers to keep their jobs.

China's growing economic activities in Europe have secured win-win opportunities, but China's intentions are starting to be misinterpreted in Europe now some countries' economies are beginning to pick up again. Some people have expressed concern that China's growing investment may reduce the EU and its member countries into dependents of China and some have even voiced concern about China's growth potential. However, all EU countries are eager not to miss the China boat.

The ambivalence exists both among the public and policy-makers. To some extent, it is understandable, as the productivity of their real economies has been falling. The Europeans should adjust to the new global trends and actively get on the same tracks as the world's leading economic engines.

To dismiss such concerns, Premier Wen will take every opportunity to explain China's position and its own experience. Since the 1980s, China has granted Western investors super-national treatment, and even now many regions are still obsessed with attracting foreign investment. But China has not become over-dependent on the West and it is now the world's major engine of growth.

(China Daily 06/27/2011 page8)