China upbeat about Europe debt crisis

Updated: 2011-09-09 07:52

By Zhang Haizhou and Zhang Chunyan (China Daily)

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LONDON - China has confidence in both the European economy and the euro and supports the euro zone's efforts to tackle its debt crisis, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said on Thursday at the Fourth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue.

Wang made the remarks as he co-chaired the dialogue with British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

After the dialogue, China and the UK signed two memorandums of understanding on infrastructure and energy cooperation.

"Europe has the ability and wisdom to overcome the current difficulties and come out of the crisis," Wang said.

He added that China supports measures adopted by the euro zone, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to deal with the crisis.

The current world economic situation is "highly complex and uncertain, and there is increasing fluctuation in the international financial market", he said.

Europe is confronted with a severe sovereign debt crisis, and the US continues to face sluggish job and property markets.

In addition, Japan is plagued by weak economic growth, while emerging markets and developing countries suffer from mounting inflationary pressure, Wang noted.

"Resolving the European debt crisis requires the European Union, the euro-zone countries in particular, to reach consensus on effective rescue measures, and implement them quickly," Wang said.

He said China and the UK should target bilateral trade hitting $100 billion by 2015.

This visit comes just three months after a trip to London by Premier Wen Jiabao.

"We hope that the UK will render active support to Chinese companies making investments in the UK and continue to encourage the European Union to relax controls over high-tech exports to China and recognize China's market economy status soon," Wang said.

Osborne said that the dialogue comes "when there are many problems with the world economy". He also said that the UK hopes to strengthen cooperation in "financial services" with China.

Meanwhile, another official said that China plans to make its currency fully convertible but there is no timetable for this.

Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said at a news conference during the dialogue that China welcomed London's wish to become an offshore trading center for the yuan, but said the internationalization of the Chinese currency is a "long-term process".

Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Chao said that China and the UK agreed to deepen cooperation in areas such as the economy, trade, investment and finance, and set up a "working panel" to promote cooperation in infrastructure.

China is the UK's second-largest trading partner outside the EU. China-UK trade in goods reached $50.08 billion in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 27.9 percent.

Trade between the two countries grew rapidly this year. Trade volume rose 16.7 percent year-on-year for the first seven months, with UK exports to China surging 27 percent.

Wang also met British Prime Minister David Cameron and visited London's Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Games on Thursday afternoon.

China Daily

(China Daily 09/09/2011 page1)


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