The Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, has thrown the eurozone a vital lifeline and pledged to buy billions of euros of European debt to keep the single currency project alive.
The move, which will be a relief to struggling eurozone countries including Greece, Portugal and Ireland, was announced as Mr Wen continues his four-day trip to Europe, arriving in Britain last night from Hungary and going on to Germany on Monday night.
China’s plan to continue to invest in the continent’s volatile sovereign debt market comes as efforts continue to prevent Greece’s financial crisis making it the first nation to be forced out of the euro.
“China is a long-term investor in Europe’s sovereign debt market,” Mr Wen said at a press conference with the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban.
“In recent years we have increased by quite a big margin our holdings of government bonds. We will consistently continue to support Europe and the euro.”
He added: “China is ready to work with Europe to share opportunities, cope with challenges and achieve common development and to make unremitting efforts for stable development of the world economy and an in-depth development of China-Europe ties.”