EU-China summit to focus on eurozone debt, economy
Feb 14, 2012, 5:57 GMT
Beijing - Chinese and EU leaders planned to meet Tuesday to discuss the eurozone debt crisis and a range of economic and political issues.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was scheduled to host European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at the 14th EU-China Summit in Beijing on Tuesday afternoon.
Van Rompuy and Barroso would also hold separate talks with President Hu Jintao and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, EU officials said.
'We face common challenges and the world needs cooperative and responsible partnerships to overcome them,' Barroso said in Brussels.
'I believe that a forward-looking and growing EU-China partnership can represent an important pillar for global stability and prosperity,' he said.
Chinese state media said the talks would take place against the backgdrop of 'growing global economic uncertainty and the spreading euro debt crisis.'
The summit would 'release a signal which shows the outside world that China and Europe will face the crisis hand in hand ... and stimulate global economic growth,' official Xinhua news agency said.
Van Rompuy said he expected to discuss a range of bilateral, international and global issues with Chinese leaders.
'By working more closely together, the EU and China can make a difference and reap mutual benefits for our economies and address the needs of our peoples,' he said.
China's potential to increase its support for the eurozone is expected to take centre stage at Tuesday's summit, with the European Union keen to win China's backing for its handling of the debt crisis.
But a commentary on Tuesday on the website of People's Daily, the ruling Communist Party's official newspaper, said China had no plans to 'buy up' or control Europe.
Ratings firm Moody's on Monday lowered its credit ratings for Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia, and gave a 'negative' outlook for France, Britain and Austria.
The downgrades reflected those European economies' 'susceptibility to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks emanating from the euro area crisis,' Moody's said.
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