China vows unconditional support for EU

Updated: 2011-09-20 15:23


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China's support for the European Union in coping with its debt crisis is unconditional, Shen Danyang, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), said on Tuesday.

"China has set no preconditions for offering help to others. We only hope that we can gain respect when treating others sincerely, " Shen said at a regular news briefing.

Shen said that the EU not recognizing China's status as a market economy and China providing support to the debt-hit EU are inherently different issues.

China was very disappointed that the EU refused to grant the nation full market economy status despite its complete transition from a planned economy to a market economy after 30 years of reform and opening up, Shen said.

"We believe that the issue is not a technical problem, but a political one," Shen said.

Not only does the EU's decision fail to conform to the reality of China having a market economy, it is also not in line with the long-term interests of China-EU trade relations, Shen noted.

The growing debt woes in the euro-zone will definitely affect economic and trade cooperation between China and the EU, Shen said.

And a further economic slowdown in the euro-zone, which will weaken its domestic consumption and investment, will directly hurt China's trade with it, he added.

The widening debt crisis will also place its domestic firms under great pressures, intensifying the competition with their Chinese peers and increasing trade frictions, Shen said.

"But we believe that there are opportunities hidden behind the crisis," Shen said, calling for the two sides to take the chance to deepen cooperation in all aspects, especially concerning the bilateral investment and economic and technological cooperation.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last week urged the EU to recognize China's status as a market economy, and asked EU leaders to look at bilateral relations from a bold and strategic perspective.

EU leaders have been saying they "were preparing," as some held high the excuse of "technical criteria," saying the issue is a "sheer technical problem."

Based on rules of the World Trade Organization, China's market economic status will be recognized by the whole world by 2016.

Since the start of Europe's debt crisis in 2009, the nation has been buying bonds of several EU members to help them out of the crisis, according to the MOC.

The EU is China's top trading partner, while China is the EU's second biggest. In the first eight months, trade between China and the EU rose 21.8 percent to $372.14 billion, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.