We can't cure Europe's malaise, says China

Europe should not expect China to ride to the rescue as its "saviour" from the debt crisis, though Beijing will do what it can to help a friend in need, state-run news agency Xinhua said in a commentary yesterday.

The head of Europe's rescue fund sought to entice China this weekend to invest in the facility by saying investors may be protected against a fifth of initial losses and that bonds could eventually be sold in yuan if Beijing desires.

Though China has expressed confidence that Europe can survive its crisis, it has made no public offer to buy more European government debt.

"Beijing's good-will gesture is a good response to those who see China as a threatening rival to Europe. Despite differences in politics, economy and culture, China and the EU are still good friends and partners," Xinhua wrote.

"However, amid such an unprecedented crisis in Europe, China can neither take up the role as a saviour to the Europeans, nor provide a 'cure' for the European malaise," it added.

"Obviously, it is up to the European countries themselves to tackle their financial problems. But China can do within its capacity to help as a friend."

Although not official, Xinhua commentaries often reflect government thinking. REUTERS