Desperate EU leaders have been begging China's communist rulers - who have been able to amass the biggest foreign exchange reserves in the world - to rescue the crisis ridden euro. So far, the Chinese have only offered friendly words.
But the Brussels bureaucrats, who live in a cosy, recession free parallel world of their own, are clearly not bothered by the sad state of affairs in their "empire". While Merkel and the rest are begging China to "bail out" the euro, the European Commission is handing out free "climate change" aid to the same People' s Republic! The Chinese must be laughing.
The European Commission, which manages policies and funds for the European Union as a whole, has signed a "financing agreement" with China to promote "lowcarbon urbanization and environmental sustainability." Under this arrangement, EU taxpayers will give China $32 million Cdn over the next four years.
Andris Piebalgs, the European Commissioner for Development, said the aim was to help China's cities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through a variety of schemes, notably a carbon trading mechanism.
"If we can build strong partnerships, we can improve the life of billions of Chinese and Europeans by getting the most and the best from all our efforts to stimulate sustainable urban development," he said.
The huge growth in Chinese exports has allowed Beijing to amass the biggest foreign exchange reserves in the world.
Its coffers now hold $3.2 trillion - a sum 33 per cent larger than the entire British economy.
Given that China commands such immense financial resources of its own, critics questioned whether the country should receive aid from the EU.
Martin Callanan, the leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, described the decision as "very odd, particularly at a time when we're trying to cut the EU budget."
He added that it was "typical" of the commission. "Climate change is a trendy subject so they'd give money to anything to do with it," he said. "Why on earth are we giving money to the country with the biggest foreign exchange reserves in the world?
It's clearly a nonsense and it should be a prime candidate for the savings the commission are supposed to be making."
Member states have demanded that the EU freeze its budget for this year.
Catherine Ray, a spokesman for the development commissioner, said that helping China to fight climate change was "definitely in the interest of EU - and UK - citizens as much as China's."
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