Beijing - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged Europe to prevent
its debt crisis from spreading across the bloc and to stabilise its currency
and financial markets, the Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.
Wen’s remarks come before a weekend crisis meeting by
European leaders on how to increase a eurozone bailout fund that would tackle
the bloc's debt problems. But deep divisions between France and Germany
threaten to foil the meeting.
“The most urgent task is to take decisive measures to
prevent the debt crisis from spreading further and avoid financial market
turbulence, a recession and fluctuations in the euro,” Wen reportedly told
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in a telephone call.
With about a quarter of its $3.2 trillion reserves estimated
to be invested in the euro, China has vested interests in seeing Europe avoid
further market volatility.
Europe is also China’s biggest trading partner, and the
region’s crisis has already taken a toll on Chinese exports, which grew at
their slowest pace in seven months in September.
Wen’s latest comments sounded a bit more urgent than other
recent remarks from Beijing, which has repeatedly voiced confidence that Europe
can overcome its problems.
“I notice that EU leaders have shown strong political will,”
“I hope that EU leaders could turn their political will into
concrete and effective action to safeguard the stability of the euro and
European markets to boost market confidence.”
During the phone call, Rompuy also told Wen that European
officials had to postpone an annual summit with China to allow European leaders
to attend a crisis meeting about the bloc's debt problems.