Wen offers help to Europe on debt

Sept. 14, 2011 at 2:16 AM

BEIJING, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Premier Wen Jiabao Wednesday offered to help ease the European debt burden by increasing Chinese investments in the continent.

The Chinese leader gave the assurance in his opening address to the three-day World Economic Forum's annual meeting of "New Champions 2001"in Dalian city in northeast China's Liaoning Province, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"We have been concerned about the difficulties faced by the European economy for a long time, and we have repeated our willingness to extend a helping hand and increase our investment," Wen said.

No other details were provided.

The premier urged the European Union to acknowledge China's status as a market economy.

"Based on the (World Trade Organization) rules, China's full market economy status will be recognized by 2016," Wen said. "If EU nations can demonstrate their sincerity several years earlier, it would reflect our friendship."

The EU has become China's largest trading partner amid calls on China to allow faster appreciation of its currency as an undervalued yen is seen as giving China un unfair trade advantage by making its exports cheaper.

Wen is scheduled to meet with EU leaders next month.

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