China offers helping hand to crisis-hit Europe: Norwegian scholar

08:28, January 14, 2011      

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Jan Egeland, director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, on Thursday spoke highly of China's timely assistance to a Europe struggling in deep financial crisis.

In an article published on the Thursday issue of the Norwegian- language newspaper Aftenposten, Egeland said that 150 years after Britain and other Western countries forced China to accept the opium trade in Chinese cities, crisis-hit European countries are now hoping to have investment and assistance from China.

Three years ago nobody would have thought that China would emerge as a contributor to the euro's survival and to save the European countries from financial bankruptcy, he said in the article.

"We live in a world of radical change -- 2011 is the year when we will definitely see that the economic and political center of gravity is moving eastward," the author said.

Large parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa as well as the Middle East are marked by optimism, growth and investment. But in the forefront is China, which is making investments in Europe and America, the article said.

It is equally sobering to click on to see how quickly the U.S. government spends billions in Afghanistan and Iraq as 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars have been spent on the two wars there, Egeland said.

Beijing, already a major investor in Greece and in talks with Ireland, has bought nearly 50 billion of Spain's government debt, said the article. Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has just concluded a visit to Spain, Germany and Britain with over 100 prominent Chinese businessmen. During this visit, he said that China will contribute to help Europe get out of the crisis, the article added.

"There is every reason to believe that China does not want revenge on earlier humiliation, but actually want to contribute to both the U.S. and Europe to avoid economic chaos. Lenders earn little when the borrowers go bankrupt," said Egeland.

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