China welcomes consensus reached at EU debt talks

Reuters

By Chris Buckley and Ben Blanchard

China

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"We hope that this consensus ... is conducive to boosting market confidence," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing. "China is willing to make joint efforts to preserve the global economic recovery and growth."

China was also ready to increase cooperation with the EU in areas of investment, trade and finance, she added, without providing details.

"China supports the measures taken by the EU to deal with the debt crisis problem," Jiang said.

She also confirmed that President Hu Jintao will speak with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday afternoon by telephone about economic issues and next month's G20 summit.

An EU source said Sarkozy was expected to speak to Hu about Beijing's possible participation in the bailout fund.

China's official Xinhua news agency said the outcome of the EU summit was "positive but filled with difficulties," adding the deal showed that Europe could surmount its economic woes.

"It seems that all sides at this summit made big efforts and this will bring confidence to markets and also add impetus to the international community joining hands to respond to the current economic situation," it said.

"This summit shows that the countries of the European Union, especially its main economies, have the resolve to overcome difficulties and create an effective 'rescue umbrella' for the euro," said the Chinese-language agency.

"At the same time, it shows the systemic and structural problems the EU has when it comes to dealing with the crisis that demand improvement."

Beijing, with its big holdings of European sovereign debt, is one of the main bystanders waiting to see if Europe can decide on a second rescue package for Greece, which risks a default that could trigger a deeper crisis in Italy and other bigger euro zone economies.

(Editing by Ken Wills and Kavita Chandran)

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