Global Times editorial analyses China’s strategy regarding Greek crisis

Global Times‘While China unveiled large-scale efforts to stabilize its stock market, Europe’s financial order is grimly challenged by Greece. The referendum on Sunday said “No” to reform measures required by international creditors, which caused a stalemate that has not been seen since the eurozone was established. Greece has already defaulted on IMF loans and may default on the EU later. Meanwhile, Greek banks have been closed for over a week. The country is on the verge of bankruptcy. Many are greatly interested in the steps China may take following the failed dialogue between Greece and the EU. They wonder whether China will offer assistance to Greece and what role China will play in the EU’s internal disputes.

This curiosity is understandable as China has abundant foreign exchange reserves and Greece is also a key country in China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Apparently China is willing to help Greece address its problems in economic and social development.However, China would hope that its efforts to lift Greece out of hardship can be helpful for the big picture and also constructive. In other words, China wants its participation to be beneficial for both Greece and the EU. This mentality is rooted deeply in China’s foreign relations. It is by no means diplomatic language when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that China hopes to see Greece stay in the eurozone. China is probably one of the countries outside the EU that sincerely hopes Europe will prosper. A stronger EU will foremost counter the US, while China will not suffer losses.

Ordinary Chinese people may think what happened in Greece is far from us. But close observation will help us understand that EU member states are most likely to become China’s friends. In projects that are of mutual benefit to both China and the EU, we can have a positive attitude.

The China-Greece relationship has grown quickly over past years. Besides offering financial aid through multilateral institutes such as the IMF, China also invests in large Greek infrastructure projects. During the time of the Greek debt crisis, China has held onto the country’s bonds.

Greece will very likely stay within the eurozone even it rejects the bailout terms. The EU is the major party behind Greece’s bailout, so China can take on the task of helping the EU weather its sovereign debt crisis. The EU has to face the post-Greece crisis. China should pay attention to how the eurozone is going to clean up the mess created by Greece and what the eurozone can withstand as a consequence.’

This is the Global Times editorial published on 7 July 2015.