Tuesday, 14 February 2012
The Beggars in Beijing reality show continues
There seems to be no end to the Beggars in Beijing reality show. The latest visitors taking their begging bowl to the Chinese capital are the two unelected European Union Presidents, Herman van Rompuy and José Barroso. They are both well versed in the old Chinese tradition of kowtowing, and for former maoist Barroso a visit to Beijing must feel like a nostalgic home coming, but in spite of these credentials they will have to return to their downgraded "empire" without more than empty words from the EU´s "strategic partner":
China is ready to increase its participation in efforts to resolved the eurozone's debt crisis, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has told European leaders at summit talks in Beijing.
Wen said on Tuesday that China was "full of confidence in its own future" and hoped to see Europe "maintain stability and prosperity" as well.
But Wen stopped short of saying whether China would buy bonds in a bailout fund designed to rescue debt-stricken EU countries.
Al Jazeera's Melissa Chang, reporting from Beijing, said that China had the potential to purchase a large amount of European bonds to help fight off the financial crisis, but had not done so due to doubts over whether its investment would generate sufficient returns.
"We have seen plenty of European delegates and envoys in the past few months come through here asking for assistance. And so far all that we have seen from China is a lot of words, but very little action," she said.
"The Chinese are not entirely confident that they will get their money's worth if they assist the Europeans."
However, the Belgian beggar, made a serious mistake by this thinly veiled threat:
Herman Van Rompuy, the European Union's top official, said the economies of the two sides were "so interdependent that change in the growth rate in one of the two strategic partners has a direct and palpable impact on the other one."
What the haiku poet actually told his hosts is, that "if you do not help us, our financial and economic crisis will soon start seriously hurting your growth, too". Not exactly the kind of language that beggars on a kowtowing mission should use in front of the eastern mandarins.
Read the entire article here