VIENNA (Reuters) - China will remain part of international efforts to help Europe through its crisis, vice foreign minister Fu Ying said on Saturday, dismissing the idea that Beijing was sitting back as the region suffered.
“China will be part of the international effort to help Europe. We’ve done a lot, we have been so much in it, Europeans know it,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Vienna. Asked how China would help, she said:
“We want to invest, we are importing more, we are sending delegations to buy, to purchase, that will help create jobs, that will help stimulate the economy.
“China will continue to be part of the effort because we are interrelated, interdependent. We are in it together. We are in one boat,” she said.
As the owner of the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, China is one of the few governments with pockets deep enough to buy a sizeable portion of European government debt and help pull the region from its economic malaise.
Supporters of this idea say China would help itself if it assisted the euro zone, because it would allow Beijing to diversify its reserves from the dollar and foster economic growth in China’s biggest export market.
China has been cool to such suggestions and has not committed publicly to contributing to Europe’s bailout fund, despite being courted by the fund’s chief last month.
Fu said in Vienna that idea of China giving “aid” to Europe was often misunderstood.
“When it is translated into Chinese it sounds like development aid and that is not what we are talking about,” she told a panel discussion.
“The kind of thing we want to do is to be part of the effort to stimulate the economy,” she said, adding that China hoped to increase its imports from Europe next year.
“China has 120 million people living on one dollar a day so it is not the kind of country rich enough to talk about saving others. It doesn’t mean that China is trying to stay away from this global effort...we are all interdependent,” she said.
Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by David Cowell