by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 27, 2011
China and Japan on Thursday cautiously welcomed a deal by European nations to tackle their worst financial crisis in decades, as the eurozone bailout fund chief prepared to visit both countries.
Klaus Regling is to visit Beijing on Friday as Europe tries to persuade China, Brazil and other top emerging economies to come to their rescue, possibly by contributing to the bailout fund.
Regling, the head of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), will visit Japan on the weekend.
China, the world's second-largest economy, has invested significant sums in European debt and has repeatedly called on Europe to address its sovereign debt crisis, saying a failure to act risks dragging the world back into recession.
"We believe it is conducive to lifting market confidence, promoting the sustainable economic development of the EU and the eurozone and injecting new vitality into European integration," said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu about the deal.
"As an important strategic partner of the EU, China has faith in the EU and the eurozone economy."
Chinese President Hu Jintao told his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy during a telephone call that he hoped the deal would stabilise financial markets.
Japan's Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Tokyo was ready to take "necessary measures" to help stabilise the eurozone in the interests of its own economy.
The comments came hours after Sarkozy announced at a summit in Brussels that eurozone leaders had agreed to leverage the 440-billion-euro EFSF to one trillion euros ($1.4 trillion).
Japan has so far purchased around a fifth of the debt issued by the EFSF and has indicated a willingness to buy more.
The state-owned China Daily newspaper, citing a source close to EU decision makers, said Wednesday China and other top emerging economies had also agreed to help eurozone countries by contributing to the bailout fund.
But on Thursday China's state Xinhua news agency said Europe needed to take responsibility for the crisis, and not rely on "good Samaritans" to bail out the continent.
"While China and other emerging countries indicated they won't be bystanders of the eurozone crisis, it would be unfair to ask them to shoulder the same responsibility as those directly responsible for the crisis," a Xinhua commentary said.
"Emerging economies should not be seen as the EU's good Samaritans -- in the end, the EU has to pull itself out of the crisis."
Two senior EU diplomats told AFP Wednesday that China had agreed to invest in the rescue fund.
Brazil and Russia also indicated backing, but China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang said only that Beijing had an "open attitude" and would "discuss with the European side multiple ways of cooperation."
The European Union has not said who Regling would meet in Beijing and Tokyo or give reasons for his visit.
He is scheduled to hold a media briefing in the Chinese capital on Friday afternoon.
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German FM: Turkey deserves fairness
Istanbul, Turkey (UPI) Oct 25, 2011
Turkey deserves fairness and respect from the European Union in its stalled bid to join the EU bloc, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says. Westerwelle chided the EU Saturday in Istanbul during an appearance with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, less than a month after the bloc issued a report on Turkey's accession process that cited little progress on thorny issues su ... read more
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