China paper says country does not want to "buy up" Europe

Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:30pm EST
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China has no intention of "buying up" or "controlling" a debt-ridden Europe that it still has confidence in, and any help Beijing may offer will be for purely economic reasons, a top state-run newspaper said on Monday ahead of a China-EU summit.

While Chinese leaders have repeatedly expressed confidence in European nations, they have also refrained from making firm financial commitments, urging Europe first to take further steps on its own.

Premier Wen Jiabao, meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Beijing earlier this month, said China was considering increasing its participation in the rescue funds aimed at resolving the debt crisis, though he gave no explicit pledges.

In a suggestion of the tone China wishes to strike at its summit with senior EU officials on Tuesday, Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily said in a front page commentary that China's interests lay in selflessly helping Europe.

"China has no appetite or ability to 'buy up Europe' or 'control Europe' as some European commentators have said," wrote Feng Zhongping, director of the Institute of European Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

"China has from the beginning strongly supported the EU and the euro, in clear contrast to the 'talking down' of Europe in the international community," Feng wrote in the piece, carried in the paper's overseas edition.

China has promised not to link helping Europe in the debt crisis with issues such as the EU recognizing China as a market economy or the EU's arms embargo on China, Feng added.

"This is the best example of China's proactive stance on the EU," he wrote.

Any Chinese economic assistance to resolve the debt problem, whether via the International Monetary Fund or the EU's own systems, would be a purely economic decision, Feng said.   Continued...