China backs EU finance measures at start of trade talks
BEIJING: China backs measures taken by the European Union and International Monetary Fund to ensure financial stability, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said Tuesday at the start of Sino-EU trade talks.
Wang, speaking at the opening of the day-long highlevel economic and trade dialogue, said Beijing would help some EU members combat the sovereign debt crisis, state media and Dow Jones Newswires reported.
"It is in the fundamental interests of China and the EU to further strengthen mutually beneficial economic cooperation," Xinhua news agency quoted Wang as saying.
Last week, EU leaders pledged to defend debt-plagued eurozone nations with a permanent bailout mechanism from mid-2013 --the successor to a temporary, IMF-backed trilliondollar facility. Greece and Ireland have both been bailed out by the EU and the IMF. Portugal, Spain, Belgium and even Italy are considered at risk by experts going into 2011. In October, China pledged to back Greece, which nearly defaulted this year when investors snubbed its debt, by buying its bonds in future debt issues. During a visit to Lisbon last month, Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged to help Portugal shed its fiscal crisis but Beijing has not yet made firm promises regarding the purchase of Portuguese government debt.
Wang was co-chairing Tuesday's talks with European Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquin Almunia, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn.
Almunia said the 27-nation bloc wanted to see "equal openness" in both the China and EU markets, as well as open access for the EU to raw materials. -Ap
TOKYO: A businessman runs past an electric board showing global stock price indexes, at a securities' firm in Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday. Nikkei 225 stock average climbed 1.5 percent to 10,370.53 after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged at the current super loose setting after a key survey last week showed deteriorating business sentiment. -Ap