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Cash injection

October 4, 2010

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has offered to buy Greek government bonds and pledged support for cash-strapped Athens as it looks to make Greece the center for its exports in south-east and eastern Europe.

Greek and European Union flags
Greece and the eurozone stand to gain from Chinese investment supportImage: picture alliance / dpa
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou
Greece reached a deal with the IMF and EU on a bailoutImage: AP

Speaking in Athens at the start of his two-day visit, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told reporters that Beijing intends to buy bonds issued by Greece and looks forward to developing trade relations between the two countries.

"China will make a big effort to support the eurozone economy and Greece," Wen said at a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Greece needs widespread foreign investment to help it fulfill the terms of a 110-billion-euro ($150-billion) bailout which saved it from bankruptcy in May but also forced Athens to impose strict austerity measures, which deepened recession in the country.

Focus on trade

Greek flag and Chinese currency
Wen announced a fund for purchasing Chinese shipsImage: DW/Sebastian Müller - Fotolia

The Chinese premier arrived in the Greek capital with a delegation of ministers and businessmen in tow, including Cosco head Wei Jiafu and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan.

After signing agreements on investment and tourism with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou, Wen announced the creation of a 3.6-billion-euro fund to help finance the purchase of Chinese ships by Greek shipping companies.

"The merchant marine is an important sector of cooperation between the two countries because 60 percent of crude oil is imported in China on Greek boats and 50 percent of Chinese merchandise is transported on Greek boats," he added.

EU-China summit

Wen is scheduled to address the Greek parliament on Sunday and leave early on Monday for Brussels, where he will attend an EU-China summit before going on to Germany, Italy and Turkey.

The Chinese premier said that China and the EU should work together to reform and regulate the world's financial system.

"I think we can, in a joint effort with the EU, reform the financial system and reinforce controls on this system," he said.

Author: Nigel Tandy (AFP/Reuters/dpa)

Editor: Toma Tasovac