China’s Wen Jiabao: “No protection” for Syrian government..EU leaders push for Chinese help on Iran & Syria..China to help EU
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says Beijing will “absolutely not protect any party” in the conflict in Syria.
Speaking after talks with EU chiefs in Beijing, he said China would “continue to play a constructive role”.
China and Russia vetoed a UN resolution on Syria 10 days ago, sparking claims from the UN rights chief that action against protesters has intensified.
Meanwhile activists say the city of Homs, under heavy attack for more than a week, is suffering fresh bombardment.
The Local Co-ordination Committees group said that the shelling was “brutal” and was the worst for several days.
On Monday, the United Nations’ human rights chief, Navi Pillay, said the veto by China and Russia had encouraged President Bashar al-Assad’s government to carry out indiscriminate shelling of civilians in Homs.
In a special session of the UN General Assembly, Ms Pillay accused the Syrian government of launching an all-out assault to crush opposition dissent.
She said that at least 300 people had been killed in the assault on Homs, and that the number of dead and injured continued to rise every day.
European Union leaders urged China on Tuesday to open its markets, join in persuading Iran to negotiate over its nuclear program and help end bloodshed in Syria as they held a summit delayed by Europe’s debt crisis.
Leaders of the two sides pledged to boost trade and to start negotiations on an investment treaty. But at a news conference, EU officials and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed differences on issues from trade to human rights.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said he andEuropean Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso pressed during talks with Wen for China to open its markets.
“I repeatedly stressed the need for a level playing field for European business, including better market access for European companies, protection of investment and intellectual property and our concerns about protectionism,” said Van Rompuy.
Europe is China’s biggest trading partner but European companies and business groups complain Beijing is trying to limit their access to promising industries and favors Chinese rivals in violation of its free-trade pledges.
The summit came after rating agency Moody’s on Monday downgraded its credit ratings on Italy, Portugal and Spain. France, Britain and Austria kept their top ratings but their outlooks dropped to “negative” from “stable,” meaning they too might be downgraded.
The meeting was originally scheduled for October but was postponed due to emergency meetings on the European debt crisis.
China’s stake in Europe’s economic health has increased as Chinese companies step up investment there. The biggest Chinese producer of construction equipment agreed this month to acquire Germany’s Putzmeister, a maker of concrete pumps.
Wen, appearing with Van Rompuy and Barroso at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of China’s legislature, said Beijing is ready to “increase its participation” in resolving Europe’s debt crisis but made no financial commitments.
Wen said earlier this month during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Beijing was considering contributing to two European bailout funds but the government has given no indication of progress toward that.
On global affairs, Van Rompuy said the EU supported efforts of the Arab League to end violence in Syria and appealed to “all members of the U.N. Security Council” — a group that includes China — to “act responsibly.”
China, along with Russia, has been criticized for vetoing a Security Council resolution that would have pressed Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. China says the council vote was called before differences over the proposal were bridged.
Wen said the most urgent issue in Syria is to “prevent war and chaos.”
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday his country was ready to increase its participation in efforts to resolve Europe’s debt crisis, after holding talks with EU leaders in Beijing.
Wen also said China wanted to see Europe — its biggest trading partner — “maintain stability and prosperity”, a day after ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Italy, Spain and Portugal.
“China is ready to increase its participation in resolving the EU debt problems,” the Chinese premier told journalists after meeting EU president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Wen did not elaborate on how China would participate, but earlier this month he said Beijing was considering offering help through the International Monetary Fund or bail-out funds.
China has made clear its growing concerns over the crisis in Europe, repeatedly urging EU leaders to get a grip on the situation, which the foreign ministry said this week had reached a “critical juncture”.
European leaders last year approached China, which holds the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, to invest in a bail-out fund to rescue debt-stricken states, but it has made no firm commitment so far.
china..the lender of last resort..the EU sucking up to the chinese..trying to get a vote change on syria..trying to get easy cash for their debt ridden countries..china will help..but nobody rides for free..