China wants Greece to stay in EU

Proclaiming that China prefers a strong euro and united European Union, China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday told Greece and its creditors to keep talking.

Greece on Tuesday defaulted in its scheduled 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund.

“We hope that the relevant creditors can keep talking with Greece to try and reach agreement as soon as possible and appropriately resolve the crisis now faced,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular press briefing. “From China’s point of view we hope to see that the EU and euro zone can appropriately resolve this issue and Greece can continue to remain in the euro zone. This accords with the interests of all sides. China will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.”

This reiterates comments Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during a visit to Brussels earlier this week.

China has a lot riding on Greece staying in the EU. China is a major investor in Greek infrastructure, in euro bonds and in the EU economy as a whole. The European Union is already China’s largest trading partner, and China is the EU’s second-largest trading partner.

Greece is expected to be a major portal for China’s “One Belt One Road” strategy for  distributing Chinese products into Europe and Africa by land and sea. In this plan, Greece is China’s southern gateway to Europe. Already, China’s Cosco manages two piers at the Piraeus port and is trying to buy 67% stake in the port.

“Already some observers are suggesting a Greek exit from the euro could provide China with the opportunity to move its strategic agenda several paces up the board by buying more Greek assets at rock bottom prices,” suggested the BBC. “It’s a tricky equation: on one side the soft power benefits abroad for Beijing of riding to the rescue where Brussels won’t, and on the other side, the bottom line cost of being saddled with a lot of unrecoverable Greek debt.”

Categories: Asia Unhedged, China

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  • Rafasa Arandas

    The affairs of the European Union and Europe in general is quite frankly none of China’s business.

  • Robert Ferrin

    Of course China wants a strong E.U. and European Union for the E.U. is Chinas greatest trading partner, but they fail to take into account the suffering of the Greek people under the European bankers along with Spain and Italy.!!!

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    If Beijing wanted Greece to stay in the European Union she should have been deeply involved in this issue many months ago. There was an article in the Asia Times that China will be in Brussels on June 29th, with a 340 billion dollar package. Today (July 2, 2015) I have not heard one article on that.
    If China wants to develop Europe’s infrastructure to fall into line with her 900 billion silk routes programs then Beijing should have considered the implications of the economic disaster of Greece a long time ago.

  • Fernando Martinez

    China wins either way, if it deals with the EU or with Greece it will still gets what it wants. Money is what people want and China has lots of it, so they say.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    I agree with your conclusion that China will prevail in Europe with or without Greece. China is dealing with much more troublesome regions of the world, such as Pakistan to Iran,
    But my comment was the singular issue of China wanting Greece to be in the EU.

  • Fernando Martinez

    Your cool Doc, stay frosty 🙂

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Thanks Fernando, be chatting with you later.:)