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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promises help to tackle EU debt crisis

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday that China is prepared to get “more deeply involved” in efforts to tackle Europe’s debt crisis, following talks with EU leaders in Beijing.

Wen jiabao 2012 02 14Enlarge
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso (R), looks on as European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (L) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao talk at the Great Hall of the People during the EU-China summit on February 14 in Beijing. (Pool/Getty Images)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said that China is ready to get “more deeply involved” in efforts to resolve Europe’s debt crisis, after talks with EU leaders in Beijing.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Beijing on Tuesday after meeting EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Wen said:

“China’s willingness to support Europe to cope with sovereign debt problems is sincere and firm,” adding that the country "is ready to get more deeply involved in participating in solving the European debt issue,” Bloomberg reported.

More from GlobalPost: China mulls contribution to Europe’s rescue fund

European leaders have been seeking to tap Chinese foreign exchange reserves to help bolster a planned rescue fund of around $665 billion.

Wen did not elaborate on how China would participate in helping to tackle Europe’s debt woes, but said earlier this month that Beijing was considering offering assistance through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or bailout funds.

Van Rompuy told reporters today that he welcomed Wen’s comments, saying: “It is up to China to make its own decision in order to contribute to the stability of the euro zone.”

Europe is China’s largest trading partner, with trade worth around $740 billion flowing between the two in 2011, according to the BBC. Last week the IMF warned that an escalation of the EU debt crisis could halve China’s growth rates.

In another sign that further trouble may lie ahead for Europe, Moody’s Investors Service cut the debt ratings of six European countries including Italy, Spain and Portugal in half yesterday, and revised its outlook on the UK and France. 

More from GlobalPost: Moody's downgrades six European countries

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/global-economy/120214/chinese-premier-wen-promises-help-solve-eu-debt-crisis