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China offers to help eurozone

China has offered its support to eurozone countries to help them escape their debt problems. The announcement follows EU-Sino talks earlier this week.

50 euro notes

China will help bankroll struggling eurozone economies

China said on Thursday it was willing to support eurozone countries through the region's debt crisis.

"We are ready to support the eurozone countries to overcome the financial crisis and realize economic recovery," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.

She described the European Union as a "one of the major markets" for Chinese foreign exchange investment in the future.

Beijing has the world's largest foreign exchange reserves at $2.65 trillion (2 trillion euros). A significant proportion of that is invested in the euro.

Annual trade talks between the EU and China took place earlier in the week. Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said Beijing was "very concerned" about the European debt crisis, and asked to see if "consensus can be translated into real action" to ensure recovery.

Risky investments

Greece was offered a 110 billion euro bailout from the EU and IMF in May. Ireland was forced to ask for an 85 billion euro loan package last month.

Beijing, June 2009

EU and Chinese trade representatives met in Beijing earlier this week

Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Italy are considered at risk going into 2011.

In October, China pledged to buy bonds from Greece when it begins issuing debt again.

Chinese President Hu Jintao offered to help Portugal handle its financial crisis, during a visit to Lisbon last month. To date, Beijing has made no firm promises on purchasing Portuguese government debt.

Beijing has expressed its support for moves made by the EU and the International Monetary Fund in providing support to struggling countries in order to stabilize the eurozone.

Jiang refused on Thursday to provide specifics about how China would invest in Europe.

Author: Thomas Sheldrick (Reuters, AFP)
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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