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China: bigger role in EU rescue fund?

Thursday, February 02, 2012 - 01:32

Feb. 2 - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says China says may consider greater involvement in resolving the European debt crisis while German Chancellor Angela Merkel urges Beijing to use influence on Iran, during her three-day state visit to China. Ciara Sutton reports

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It was welcome news for euro zone leaders. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says China may contribute more to the euro zone's rescue fund. He made the announcement after a meeting in Beijing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE PREMIER WEN JIABAO SAYING: "China's relevant department is now researching and evaluating the specific approaches of China investing via the International Monetary Fund and China's greater involvement in solving the European debt crisis via the rescue funds and other channels." But Merkel stressed that Chinese leaders still expected Europe to solve its own problems. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "We agreed that budgetary discipline plays a rile and secondly, those countries outside of Europe who are watching us, expect us to show unity and political co-operation so that everybody knows what responsibilities they have." The European Stability Mechanism, a 650 billion dollar fund, is expected to replace the European Financial Stability Fund in July. The current fund has already bailed out Ireland and Portugal and is ready to help Greece with its second package. China has long been seen as a potential source of funds. It exports to Europe and has 3.2 trillion dollars worth of foreign exchange reserves - a quarter of them in euros. But Beijing has been reluctant to make specific promises about any contributions to the rescue funds. Ciara Sutton, Reuters

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China: bigger role in EU rescue fund?

Thursday, February 02, 2012 - 01:32