News / Asia

China to Continue Supporting Europe’s Recovery

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, center, is greeted by Belgian PM Elio Di Rupo, right, and Belgian FM Didier Reynders prior to a meeting at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, September 20, 2012.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, center, is greeted by Belgian PM Elio Di Rupo, right, and Belgian FM Didier Reynders prior to a meeting at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, September 20, 2012.
Al Pessin
China’s premier says his country will continue to help Europe resolve its debt crisis, indicating Beijing will not stop buying European bonds despite ongoing disputes on several issues.Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made the statement after a summit with European Union leaders.

Premier Wen spoke at a business conference after spending the morning with the European Union’s top leaders in Brussels. China’s bond purchases have been an important aspect of Europe’s recovery, as it struggles to reach agreement on how to use its own financial institutions to buy the debt of several struggling economies.

The statement indicated the purchases will continue, despite ongoing disputes over Europe’s arms embargo against China and the EU refusal to grant China tariff-free trade status, reserved for countries with a minimal government role in their economies.

The premier highlighted those disagreements at the end of his opening remarks, and put the burden on Europe to change its position.

“We have been working hard for 10 years, but the solution has been elusive," said Wen. "I deeply regret this. I hope, and I do believe, that the EU side will seize the opportunity and take greater initiative at an early stage.”

The video feed of Premier Wen’s remarks was cut off in mid-sentence a few seconds later, a move EU officials said came at China’s request, and attributed to confusion about when the public part of his speech was finished and the private talks began.

A few minutes earlier, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso had called for China and the European Union to use the past 10 years of strengthening their relationship to help them work through the lingering disputes.

“It is in the spirit of friendship that we are able to discuss all issues - those on which we agree, and those on which we do not always agree,” said Barroso.

In a statement issued after the meeting, Barroso and his counterpart, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, said they had pressed China on human-rights issues, particularly freedom of expression and the situation in Tibet. And they said they urged China to take steps to ensure that the United Nations can help solve the Syria crisis.  

China has used its veto in the Security Council to block stronger action by the world body.

A China analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London says China’s position in its relationship with Europe has strengthened significantly in the past several years, which could account for Premier Wen’s strong statement. But Alexander van Kemenade said China needs its relationship with the European Union, and does not want relatively minor issues to interfere.

“I do not think that it was very much a surprise that the Chinese are going to continue financing European governments, particularly as it is very much in their own interests to keep European demand for Chinese exports as buoyant as possible,” said Kemenade.

Europe is the biggest market for China’s exports, an important engine of for the Asian country's economic growth, and China is Europe’s second-largest trading partner, after the United States.  

At Thursday’s summit, Chinese and European leaders expressed support for what they called “a multi-polar world,” an apparent reference to their shared desire for the United States not to dominate the world economy or policy-making on a variety of international issues.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs